A series of advertisement that we found for Alside homes in a newspaper online have helped us on our search for locating Alside Homes across the country. The copy in the Ads claim that if you live in an Alside Home it will save your marriage and make you happy. The article states – “How to be happy, even though you’re married. Buy an Alside home … We won’t go so far as to say that Alside Homes will revolutionize your married life exactly. But they do create the kind of climate good marriages thrive on.” …. We would have to say that statement has some truth.
Anyway these articles appeared in many newspapers across the mid-west and east coast. The only thing that changed was the authorized builders name and address, usually for a sales model. We use the addresses to search using ‘google streetview’ to locate other Alside homes that are still around. Once we find them, we send a postcard off to the owners in the hopes that they will write back, and perhaps reveal more properties. We are also thankful to some sleuth work from friends of ‘The Frost House’ – like Tryscraft [a purveyor of fabulous mid-century furniture finds]. Here are a few more examples:
SO WHERE ARE THEY?
We are currently at a count of
(9) (11) (12) (15) (17) (20) (22) (24)(26)(27)(28)(29)(32) Thirty-Nine (39) Alside homes [update Jan 3 – 2019], with 37 verified as still standing [see photos], 2 lost to fire, and a potential for 2-3 additional homes we have heard of but not yet found [excluded from the official count]. The homes are stretched across Seven  states:
- Six (6) in Illinois;
- Four (4) in Indiana;
- Two (2) in Maryland;
- Fourteen (14) in Michigan [1 lost to fire];
- Eight (8) in Ohio [where Alside was based / 2-3 additional not yet verified];
- Four (4) in Pennsylvania [1 lost to fire]; and
- One (1) in New York [recently sold] [with 1 additional not yet verified].
According to a House & Home article talking about the demise of Alside Homes Corp. that was published in Sept 1964 on page 17 we believe there were at least 94 built [thanks ModernSTL for tip-off to the article] and that number could be as high as 200 [no official sales numbers were ever released]. The Alside Homes Corp. also stated that they would service a 600 mile radius of the plant, so we are looking in the following areas below:
This listing is photo evidence that the homes truly exist, collected via google + bing + real-estate listings + home owner provided photos [we apologize for them not always being the most flattering – we need to do a road trip to take ‘pretty pictures’]:
Mahomet: The below listing was also provided by Trystcraft, they came across this listing when moving to the Mid-West and looking for a mid-century home. The kitchen, and many aspects of this house are similar to ours. It is a 2 story home with a fabulous entry area. The colors are more muted than our home, and we can now confirm that our bathrooms have had an extra cabinet added above the sinks, which we suspected.
Kankakee: This house [seen below] is also a pitched roof version, and was recently sold in 2015. We have connected with the homeowner, and you can see the interior and what’s new with this home by following the MidCentury Family Blog.
Urbana: The following images are of three Alside homes clustered together in Urbana. The photo directly below has had some major renovations and modernization. It appears to be similar to our floor plan, with some additions made above the garage and altered roofline to increase the ceiling height inside. We would love to see these in person.
Here is a two stored version with the original color [we are guessing] on the panel. We really do like this muted yellow, it is more like the yellow that is in our kitchen vs. the sunshine bright yellow exterior of our house, that continues into the master bedroom and bathroom, along with the guest bedroom.
We did connect with the owner of this one via Instagram. Apparently it was once a duplex with two separate addresses and entrances. The owner shared some Flickr photos, and it has some lovely original baked enamel panels in a burnt orange.
Right around the corner from the above three homes is yet another Alside, Urbana is a ‘hot-bed’ for these homes, I would love to discover who the builder is, they appear to have had some luck with getting these pre-fab homes sold/built. We received an email from the homeowners about this one and they provided the photographs. Thanks for the tip, and so great to connect with other Alside homeowners. This one is hard to determine what model it originally was, as it has had some renovations done to it over the years. What is interesting, the neighbors claim it was built in 1967, although Alside went out of business in 1963, this could have been due to pre-purchased and stored panels by a Builder perhaps – that didn’t get built right away – would love to know more.
Michigan City: This is our neighbor, it is another pitched roof version, that has been painted and an addition added to the back, but has the original windows, along with most of the bathroom fixtures.
This one below, is our house it is located in middle of the three Alside Homes that are all in a row on the same side of the street. You can see in this photo that the blue panel appears to be a little softer [similar to the interior blue – we will eventually repaint it this color], you can also see our side lot [where the pool now resides] with no fencing in the front and rear.
And this is our other neighbor, another pitched roof version, it looks similar to the one in Akron, Ohio and in Kankakee, Illinois. It comes with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, and it has a finished basement, it also has a fabulous in-ground pool surrounded by a glass fence [inspiration for our ‘fake-glass’ fence. The kitchen and bathrooms have been slightly remodeled, yet they have the original windows and fireplace.
Carmel: Thanks to Tim Hills of Trystcraft always keeping an eye out for us, he found this home thru newspaper.com advertisements. It is in great condition, with the steel work now painted white.
Algonac: This one we found through some old newspaper Ads for Alside Homes. The address for the model was listed in the Port Huron Newspaper from 1960 and the minute we googled it – it popped up. What this image doesn’t show is that it sits right on the water and is a short swim to Canada.
Grand Blanc: Someone on Facebook was friends with the family that once owned this number in Grand Blanc. It is our model flipped and with some modifications to the roof due to leaks, and an extension looks like it has been added on too. Thanks for the tip.
Another home in Grand Blanc: came up for sale May 2018, the listing agent contacted us and alerted us that it was on the market. The home was been renovated and all the key features of an Alside Home have been disguised, the interiors are a give-away along with the steel structure. Here are some pictures from the listing.
Ann-Arbor: This listing was also brought to our attention by Trystcraft [the crafty sleuth]. It is a beauty. I think they may have painted over the walnut veneer panels and the kitchen cabinets, but lots of original elements, including the same light fixture as us over the dining table, and let’s talk about that inviting pool. And interestingly enough, this one has operating windows and sliding doors..
Thanks to Michigan Modern for sharing our story, we were connected with some people that had a huge amount of stories and connections to Alside homes in Ann Arbor, bringing our attention to a jackpot of SIX homes we were previously not aware of. All of these house were built by Zeke Jabbour. According to our source Zeke “…… apparently was one of the franchisees who figured out how to make a go of an Alside franchise. I believe ….. the key was not investing in erecting a set of model houses of differing configurations, as Alside HQ wanted their franchisees to do, a bad way to tie up capital and real estate”. Although two of the properties are impossible to see from ‘google’ or ‘bing’ the source is a good one and we trust they truly are all there.
Flint: We received an email from a women who grew up in an Alside home that was the same model as our house – in reverse. She said that she had fond memories and wrote:
…“My dad bought an identical house to the Frost House in 1964 in Flint, Michigan. The only difference is that the floor plan is reversed with the garage being on the other side. I was one of 4 kids and that house was so much fun and talk about all the parties we had. Sadly after my dad sold it there was a fire and eventually torn down. So sad. Just looking at your photos brings back so many wonderful memories…”.
In additional email exchanges, our contact revealed that another Alside home had been built about 2 miles away, it is a small model but still has it’s colors [blue & yellow] still showing. So fun to keep finding these.
Edwardsburg: This one came to us via a comment on the website, and we followed up via email to verify some details. It sounds like there might be another in the area based on the conversation that we had:
” …..My uncle, W. Graybosch, built one of these around 1960 …. sometime later ( late 1970’s ) he added on to the garage and covered the whole house with wooden siding….I assume to make it easier to sell, which they did in the 80’s.”
The address was provided and we found a real estate listing. It, as you can see, was so drastically changed that we didn’t really believe it was an Alside. When we found a photo of the kitchen however [here], we knew for sure it was an Alside home – making No.27.
“That’s not it ( at least not as it was ). It was a single story, 3 bed 2 bath right out of the catalog. The original house was under construction in the early 60’s. I remember touring a model house nearby to see what it was going to look like. I distinctly remember the colorful panel and metal frame construction. The original kitchen was very much like the one seen in the brochure. ….. I’m afraid the original house is now buried within. Too bad.”
What is exciting, our reader mentioned that he toured a model home – he thinks it was likely our house.
Clio: On Oct 6th 2018 we hosted a home tour in collaboration with Fernwood Gardens + Buchanan Preservation Society. One of the attendees brought with them a collection of photos and stories of the home his parents built in Clio, Michigan. It was so wonderful to learn of yet another home, and to hear stories first hand from someone that helped build the house, and then live in it. There are stories of the Knoll furniture still being in the family, and lots of fond memories to share.
Here are some of the photos the homeowner provided of the house.
LaVale: This find [March 8th 2017] is another pitched roof version, and appears to be two stories / split level. This was found by researching newspapers.com for articles / advertisements for Alside Homes. The sales model was added in 1963, and here it is still standing today with a fabulous collection of classic cars.
The homeowner above, responded to a postcard we sent them via snail-mail, and alerted us to another property, directly behind their home. It has had some modifications to the exterior, but largely remains the same.
NEW YORK (1)
Kingston: With the Frost House appearing in Dwell we received a few emails giving us tips to Alside homes. This one came from someone who as a child had admire the home, and even contemplated buying it as an adult, they lived behind the house. It is a similar style to our model – flat roof and similar layout.
We received an email mentioning that there is another house in the Kingston, NY area that we are on the hunt for…so far no luck.
Akron: First off, this pitched roof version [seen below] is what we believe to be one of the first homes built. Likely in 1961-1962, this location was referenced as the show house and was found through google street view. With Akron being the home of Alside Homes Inc. there have surely got to be more in this town?
Athens: We are rather excited to be connected to very enthusiatic ‘new to them’ homeowners in Athens. They recently purchased an Alside home and have already found two others in the area and a possible 4th, that they are on the hunt for [it is located on Old Peach Ridge Rd]. The homeowners are keen to restore this number to it’s former glory. Lots of original features, but sadly they didn’t score the reeded glass walls, I am sure they can recreate them ‘in-the-manner-of’.
Here is the second home that has been located in Athens. It is around the corner from the one listed above. [Thanks Nate for sharing the photos as there is no street view in this area]. Stay tuned for a photo of the 3rd Athens home as soon as it is offically located.
Nate and his wife were tipped off by a Realtor to another Alside home that sold in Aug 2017. When they sent me the listed – it is unmistakably an Aside house- it has had some additions added and windows replaced, along with the bathrooms being updated, but the kitchen is still there.
The power of social-media turned this one again, again Nate & his wife shared the Dwell article to Facebook and someone in their circle of friends said they had done work on a similar home. They shared the address and BINGO another was found. As you can see it has a ‘creative’ addition of a greenhouse / sunporch added to the front.
Nate & his wife have turned into the ultimate Ohio Alside home detectors [thankful to have them helping]. They chatted to the owner of the ’22’ house in their area, and she was able to share details on more homes and locations. She believes that there are another 3 homes … we are on the hunt to find them. This one that Nate located on a run [he tried to get a ‘stalker’ photo but couldn’t get close enough – for now], it is a large home with 5 bedrooms.
Yellow Springs: The owner of this home contacted us with enquiry about window and home maintenance, and then a proclimation that he owns an Alside house. The house was originally purchased by his Mother-in-law with all the furniture. He shared some interesting tid-bits about Alside, he heard a story from someone that he believed worked at Alside – an Architect:
“…… a local person told me that the company accountant stuffed the supplier’s bills in the back of his desk drawer. As soon as this was discovered, the company collapsed. This may be why no one wants to talk about details.”
The plot thickens ….and we have official record of house 26 with this one [2 have still not been offically located].
There is bound to be more of these homes in Ohio, especially in Akron where we have only found one (1) so far – this is after all where Alside Homes Corp manufacturing plant and HQ was based.
YES there are more .. here is another that was located May 17th 2018 in Wadsworth [thanks to Tim Hills of Trystcraft for spotting this one]. It is a lovely 2 story version, he was able to track it down from this article.
Meadville: These two also came to us as a result of the Frost House appearing in Dwell. A Realtor gave us the address and details to these two listings. They were both in the same area, and we say were, as one burned down recently. The first home that is still standing has been changed dramatically, with brick veneer added and vinyl siding to the exterior. The interior built-in units and kitchen cabinets have been victims to the DIYer. The home that burned to the ground, had our kitchen and a single section of the bookshelves in the living room [oh if we could have had saved elements for spare parts for our home].
Alsion Park: We received an email [Feb-12-2018] that alerted us to this house. The contact was from the son of the original owners.
“….The house originally was built with a flat roof in 1964/65, but then the builder added a peak roof to the house in order to sell it. (Western Pennsylvania at the time was not too adventurous architecturally then.) The first purchasers were my parents who lived there from 1966 to 1971, when they moved to an Eichler home in California. They always regretted selling the Allison Park house. A subsequent owner glassed in the covered breezeway that connected the home to the garage behind, creating a family room, and added a fireplace to the home. Another owner put a peaked roof on the garage, which affects the lines somewhat. Other than that, the house appears to be unaltered.
Shippenville: This one was added to the list on March 25th 2018, we received an email from current owners for the past 10 years ….
To say that this house is unique would be an understatement….. I thought that this was a US Steel house until I stumbled upon your website.
DO YOU KNOW OF ANY ALSIDE HOMES?
If you come across any Alside Pre-Fabs please let us know by sending an email to info[at]thefrosthouse[dot]com. We would love to learn if there are more of these houses around the country. We believe that they sold somewhere around 94 homes, but don’t know how many states they cover.
We are keeping our eyes peeled for more …..
February-28-2017 – Two (2) additional homes found in Urbana,IL
March-07-2017 – One (1) Sales model located still standing and occupied in LaVale, MD
June-22-2017 – Three (3) additional homes found – (2) Meadville, PA & (1) in Kingston, NY
July-16-2017 – One (1) additional home was located in Urbana, IL
July 21-2017 – One (1) additional homes was found in Algonac, MI
Sept-12-2017 – One (1) additional home was located in LaVale, MD
Sept-20-2017 – Two (2) additional homes were identified in Flint MI [verified Dec-16-2017]
Dec-12-2017 – Two (2) additional homes in Athens, OH
Dec-17-2017 – Two (2) additional homes in Athens, OH with potential for a 5th – TBD
Feb-2-2018 – One (1) additional home in Edwardsburg, MI
Feb-9-2018 – One (1) additional home in Yellow Springs, OH
Feb-12-2018 – One (1) additional home in Alison Park, PA
Mar-15-2018 – One (1) additional home in Athens, OH
Mar-25-2018 – One (1) additional home in Shippenville, PA
May-17-2018 – Two (2) additional homes found – (1) Wadsworth, OH & (1) in Carmel, IN
May-31-2018 – One (1) additional home in Grand Blanc, MI
Oct-6-2018 – One (1) additional home in Clio, MI
Jan-3-2019 – Six (6) additional home in Ann Arbor, MI