The Love Shack – A Sears Kit House Updated
restore and renovate
The Perfect Summer Cottage
Photography by Tria Giovan
click to listen to Love Shack by the B52’s while reading
Way back around the turn of the 19th century on the tip of Long Island’s North Fork, folks trying to escape the summer’s heat would put up small beach cottages overlooking the eastern most edge of Long Island Sound. Summer nights were hot but not on the bluffs where there always was a constant breeze.
Families would move there for the summer -merchants from as far away as Manhattan to local farmers who sought refuge from the still, inland hot and humid air. Wooden stairs built into the sides of the cliffs would lead down to clear sand and rock beaches where families would cool down, play, launch their sailing skiffs and rowboats, fish and just ‘be’. Life was simple.
This cottage, now named The Love Shack (named by its current owner after the song, The Love Shack by the B52’s) is an early 1930’s original Sears Kit Home that has been lovingly restored. This one acre piece of property with three such beach shacks originally belonged to a farming family for years who lived on the Peconic Bay side not 10 minutes away. The use of the cottages has not changed. The new family and their friends still come here to get away from the inland heat, play on the beach, launch their kayaks and just ‘be’ with each other.
About Sears Kit Homes
You might recognize the method Sears Kit Homes used by comparing it with today’s panelized homes such as Connor Homes from Vermont. They were ready-to-assemble kits inspired by the Midwest concept of a barn raising. All pieces were pre-cut and only needed man power for a few days to assemble them. The benefits that Sears included with many, but not all of their kits, were the latest concepts in technology such as indoor plumbing, heating, insulation and electricity. Over 70,000 of these pre-made homes were shipped by boxcar from Chicago during the turn of the century until Sears was forced to liquidate the department due to the effects of The Great Depression in the late 1930’s.
What’s so great about this shack?
The 500 square foot house is packed full of color, design and functionality.
- The main room is a soft pale violet with the bedrooms complimenting it; one green and one salmon
- Instead of wasting space with a staircase, a metal ladder provides the only access to the loft
- Only a few essential pieces of furniture are used; a couch, bookcase, coffee table and catch all table.
- keeping the ceiling open provides the illusion of space
Photographs courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine