Truth be told, the subject this post embarks on could be the launch of an entire blog, but I won't go there. I already have too many orphaned ones. However, there is enough material to keep one going indefinitely. The topic is Craftsman-style bungalow houses.
I grew up in one. Marie grew up in one. A friend named Faith, from my hometown, grew up in one that was the mirror image of Marie's. When we added Mathilda to our hiking circle, I learned that she grew up in one pretty much the same as Faith's. I suspect that some of you readers have lived in one too.
Here's "mine." Mom sold it in 1977 after Dad died. It made perfect sense, but I was always sad because Dad's dad built it in 1921.
This head-on shot isn't too flattering. I have a corner one somewhere, and we may come back to this topic again, so I'll stop for now, except to say that this house is a fairly large rendering of the style. Based on that knowledge, I'm guessing it probably cost around $2000. I knew some general information about the style and time period, but I did some more reading for this post. I've linked to two excellent articles at the end.
Generally, the style is American, but evolved from the British Arts and Crafts movement. The word "bungalow" has its roots in India, but may have had connotations more like trailer-trash. Small, often temporary houses.
The whole style was a reaction away from the tall, ornate, fussy period of Victorian architecture. You'll see these houses everywhere, particularly in the East, Midwest, and California. There isn't a cut and dried definition. The style was used loosely to include everything from one-story cabins with decorative dormers, to sprawling boxes that are usually considered the Prairie School. Generally, they were well-designed and made good use of the square footage.
But, for sure, when you see these one or one-and-a-half story houses with a dormer and a wide porch, you've got one! There were pattern books. Two examples were the Aladdin Catalog, and the Home Builder's Catalog, not to mention Sears. You could purchase a kit from Sears, and everything you needed to build the house came to your town by train!
Sadly, I have no information as to the origins of the design of my childhood house. There are thousands of variations on the theme. In fact, it's difficult to find two exactly alike. I've only ever found one that I thought was a nearly perfect match for mine.
Here's a particularly nice one from the Aladdin Catalog, called the Sunshine.
That little bump out with windows on the side is somewhat distinctive, and not a standard feature, so I thought I had spotted one of these locally. Nope!
Close but no cigar, which is how it is with these houses. A thousand variations. So, although they were somewhat like the manufactured homes of 1915-1930 (although much better constructed), they sure are not pretty much all alike.
I love the style, so you may see more of this, now that I've opened the can or worms. Or nails.
| See The Bungalow- A Short History|
See The Craftsman Bungalow
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