Spindle Sears House – Centreville, Virginia - Atlas Obscura
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Spindle Sears House

Centreville, Virginia

This restored house built from a Sears kit in the 1930s is a physical remnant of FDR's New Deal following the Great Depression. 

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Roger Spindle was a mail supervisor with the U.S. Post Office Department during the Great Depression. Using funds from the Emergency Farm Mortgage Act of 1933, Spindle and his wife Wilma purchased a 4.5-acre lot and a kit home from Sears, Roebuck & Company—the Brentwood model—for $1,244. The building materials and assembly instructions were delivered by rail to a nearby station and Mr. Spindle hired a pair of local contractors, Bernard and Wallace Cross, to assist with the construction of the house. 

The simple home received numerous upgrades over the years: The wooden kitchen countertop was replaced with red Formica; The original coal-fired furnace was replaced by an oil-fired furnace; Pull shades were swapped out for Venetian blinds. There was no hot water heater in the home until after World War II, prior to which water was heated on the stove. There was no air conditioning in the house for several decades, but a window unit was installed in the living room after Roger Spindle’s death in 1965.

The original house colors were gray and white, much drabber than the current blue and white scheme. A garage, possibly constructed around the same time as the house, but no later than 1937, fell into disrepair and was torn down by the Fairfax County Health Department around 2005. Original Sears blueprints obtained from Roger and Wilma’s daughter, Susan Spindle Mosier, have been used to ensure restoration efforts stay as true as possible to the original design.

Know Before You Go

Spindle Sears House is open to the public each year on Centreville Day, an event typically held in autumn.

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