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 and 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 examples in print:
SO WHERE ARE THEY?
We are currently at a count of
(9) (11) (12) (15) (17) (20) (22) Twenty-Four (24) Alside homes [update 12-16-17], with 20 verified as still standing [see photos], 2 lost to fire, and 2 additional homes we have heard of but not yet found. The homes are stretched across Seven  states:
- Six (6) in Illinois;
- Three (3) in Indiana;
- Two (2) in Maryland;
- Five (5) in Michigan [1 lost to fire];
- Four (4) in Ohio [where Alside was based / 1 additional not yet verified];
- Two (2) in Pennsylvania [1 lost to fire]; and
- One (1) in New York [recently for sale] [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 94 built [thanks ModernSTL for tip-off to the article]. So that is 24 down and 70 to go.
The following is photo evidence that the homes truly exist, collected via google + real-estate listings + home owner provided photos:
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
LaVale: The most recent 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 one other in the area and a possible 3rd, that they are on the hunt for. 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.
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].
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 200 homes, but don’t think that many were actually built.
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 – Two (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 with potential for a 3rd in Athens OH