In 1920, Ray H. Bennett Lumber Company of North Tonawanda, New York published its 14th catalog of ready cut homes. Like Sears and Aladdin, Bennett sold kit homes from currently popular plans.
Once ordered, each house was crated and shipped from Tonawanda to its new owner. Bennett Homes are concentrated in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, as well as into the upper Midwest.
“Today, more than ever before, people are seriously considering how they shall live. They realize that the inspiration of home, next to religion, is the greatest in life… The dainty cottage, the inviting bungalow, the comfortable Colonial, the cosy story and a half, these are the leading homes to-day… Bennett Homes, Better-Built and Ready-Cut, satisfy every desire and every need of home-lovers for the dwelling-place which shall possess charm, convenience, and endurance to the greatest extent consistent with the desired investment.”
The Bennett catalog for 1920 showed the Arcadia model in two versions: One with a front entry directly into its living room and a second into a hall. The first is a much more livable plan; the second is oddly laid out with tiny rooms and little logic … at least to a contemporary observer.
The Avon model shown in the 1920 Bennett catalog, which is described as a “semi-bungalow” home. With its full-width front porch, concrete piers and battered columns, exposed rafters, and knee braces, this one-and-a-half-story plan has the characteristics expected of the style.
Little space is wasted on unnecessary hallways and ample storage space, especially upstairs.
A one and a half story bungalow style home with a broad front porch, gabled dormer, bumped out dining room window, as well as the usual characteristics, give the Bison model presence and appeal.
It’s not a large home, but most of the homes in the 1920 Bennett catalog were relatively small when compared with typical 21st century homes.
Another bungalow plan shown in the 1920 Bennett catalog is the Bryant. The house is side gabled with a forward facing shed dormer and wide front porch.
It has one bedroom on the main floor, two bedrooms, and a bath upstairs. A small sewing room occupies the dormer.
The handsome Charlotte home shown in the Bennett catalog published in 1920 has shingle siding and a rock fireplace. The roof pitch and knee braces qualify this plan as a bungalow though it lacks the characteristic wide front porch.
Windows arranged in ribbons of three ensure ample interior natural light. Four bedrooms and 2 bathrooms are neatly arranged in this not quite 2000 square foot home.
The cozy Cleo model is just 1008 square feet, but is neatly arranged to maximize livability. The rafter tail cuts on this tidy bungalow are repeated on the window boxes.
Clustered columns support the roof over a large porch, providing curb appeal on this 1920 Bennett home.
One and a half baths and three bedrooms made the Franklin house plan desirable to many a home buyer in 1920. Bennett Homes catalog showed many small- to medium-size bungalows, which were precut and ready to assemble.
In about 1500 square feet, the Franklin also has a spacious living room with an attractive staircase, large dining room, and kitchen with convenient access to the back porch and basement.
In the 1920 Bennett catalog, there are a variety of bungalow-style homes. One is the Fulton model, which has the broad front porch and shed dormer, siding on the first story and shingles on the second.
A long shed dormer on the second floor of the Garfield model, shown in the 1920 Bennett catalog, is one of the distinguishing characteristics of this home. The covered porch is large enough for use as a small outdoor living room.
A small vestibule opens to a large living room with a graceful staircase to the second floor along the far wall. Unlike many similar homes of the period, the bathroom is fairly large.
The Hamilton home model shown in the 1920 Bennett catalog has 1008 sq. ft. on the main floor with an additional 500+ on the second. It’s a bungalow with a hipped roof and front dormer, battered columns on the wide front porch, and a relatively open floor plan typical of homes of the 1920s.
The Ideal home is a stately cottage-type bungalow with clipped gables and a wide front porch with an enclosed railing and substantial columns. The interior floor plan maximizes usable space by eliminating unnecessary halls. There is a particularly nice flow through the kitchen to pantry to dining area.
For a compact, tidy small shingled house, Bennett Homes offered the Ilion in 1920. It has a number of bungalow characteristics including knee braces, covered front porch, and exposed rafters. Inside space is arranged practically and would be easily usable today.
The LaSalle is described in Bennett’s marketing copy in its 1920 catalog as “Inviting–Distinctive–Practical”. This one and a half story hip-roofed bungalow with hipped dormers and commodious front porch is all that and more.
Two bathrooms and five bedrooms make this a comfortable home for a large family. A sensible floor plan makes it functional.