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History and Historic Preservation

Mail Order, Kit or Catalog Houses

Beginning in the early 1900s through the 1940s, many homes were bought as kits from companies like Sears, Aladdin, and Montgomery Ward. A number of mail order homes were constructed in St. Charles. 

In 2013, the St. Charles Historic Preservation Commission worked with architectural historian Rebecca Hunter to conduct a street-by-street survey of St. Charles to identify possible mail order homes marketed by Sears Roebuck, Gordon-Van Tine, Montgomery Ward, Harris Brothers, Aladdin, Lewis, and Sterling. A total of 68 homes were identified. 

Design Guidelines for Historic Properties

The Historic Preservation Commission developed Design Guidelines for downtown/commercial and residential properties that are Historic Landmarks or are located in the City’s Historic Districts. The Commission utilizes the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation to review Certificates of Appropriateness (or a “COA”). A COA is required prior to issuance of Building Permits for exterior work in the Historic District.

Historic Preservation Residential Design Guidelines