Between 1908 and 1940, some one hundred thousand American families purchased their houses from the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog, the Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans. It included precut lumber and almost all of the necessary construction materials. Sears also offered low-interest loans to make their houses affordable to most middle-class buyers. After the unassembled house arrived, owners could either erect the building themselves or hire a contractor. This model, “The Alhambra,” borrowed from Mission Revival design. The two-story house shows how customers could tailor the Sears plans to their personal tastes and needs. The plans for the Alhambra specified a stucco exterior, but the Youngs chose instead to side their house with cedar shingles. They also enclosed the one-story porch in front of the house, thereby expanding the sunroom. The curvilinear parapet that crowns this porch echoes the lines of the wall dormers, which break through the eaves of the hipped roof on three sides of the house. Less typical of Mission Revival are the deep eaves, which add a strong horizontal element reminiscent of Prairie Style.
For the interior of the square house, the Sears plans specified eight rooms plus a bathroom. A fireplace in the living room, a built-in sideboard in the dining room, and a built-in window seat in the sunroom gave the house a homelike appeal, belying its prefabricated origins.