100 years in the past, bungalows had been in style, and put residence possession inside attain [architecture column] | Structure


Who doesn’t love a bungalow? It’s an American invention with roots in 18th-century India that took maintain in 1905 and by no means let go till the Thirties.

All definitions agree that the everyday bungalow is a small, single-story residence with a low-pitched roof, a single dormer and a broad entrance porch. Once solely a dream for working-class households, residence possession turned a actuality with these compact and reasonably priced design options.

The idea was easy but elegant: Elevate the construction a number of steps above grade utilizing masonry piers as a substitute of a expensive conventional basis.

The supporting rooms, together with the bedrooms, bathtub, eating room and kitchen had been organized round a central front room and fireside. Space-saving options like built-in bookshelves, breakfast nooks and cabinets eradicated the necessity for cumbersome furnishings.

The broad and deep entrance porch served as an escape from the recent summer season days and doubled as an additional residing or eating house. The second stage supplied further sleeping quarters and was usually accessed by a ladder reasonably than a stair.

While the headroom was at a premium within the sleeping lofts, the house was properly ventilated and lit by the broad dormers and home windows.

HG Bungalow 6 A8 Distinctive concrete block-Lancaster c1928 .jpg

This bungalow-style residence, in-built Lancaster circa 1928, has a particular concrete-block exterior and chimney, concrete porch posts and a low-profile roof with transverse gable.

Although the “kit of parts” was the identical for all bungalows, every area of the nation supplied a distinct interpretation by the supplies chosen and particulars included. For instance, New Yorkers would gravitate towards the Adirondack fashion, New England to the Colonial Revival fashion, the mid-Atlantic noticed extra Arts and Crafts and Chicago used intensive brick, whereas California was at residence with the stucco on their Mission and Spanish Revival types.

Regardless of location, bungalows had been related to flower gardens, goldfish ponds, victory gardens and clear, wholesome out of doors residing.

HG Bungalow 7 A8 Low pitch hip roof  c1928 Lancaster.jpg

This Lancaster brick bungalow, constructed circa 1928, has a low-pitch hip roof with a two-light dormer above a three-bay porch.

As you drive across the county, discover that bungalows are sometimes constructed in teams or clusters, creating distinct neighborhoods.

As with most types, World War II introduced an abrupt conclusion to the bungalow period; returning GIs had been in search of a distinct life-style and lodging wherein to lift their households. Interestingly, current years have witnessed an enormous resurgence of the bungalow fashion for all the explanations it was in style 100 years in the past — affordability, life-style and attraction!

HG Bungalow 3 A8 c1925  Columbia Ave .jpg

This bungalow on Columbia Avenue in Lancaster was constructed circa 1925. It has a transverse, low-pitch dormer; a broad, three-bay porch and rustic shingle siding.

What is India’s connection to the bungalow?

The phrase bungalow advanced from the Hindi phrase “banglas” (home) — a one-story home with a thatched roof and surrounded by a big veranda.

Were bungalows obtainable in mail-order catalogs?

Sears Roebuck & Co., Montgomery Ward and Aladdin supplied myriad bungalow designs in several types and plan configurations, and with worth factors as little as $402 in 1913.

What was probably the most space-saving function in a bungalow?

In addition to the absence of a stair, the absence of corridors saved as much as 20% on the price of sq. footage.

This column is contributed by Gregory J. Scott, FAIA, an area architect with greater than 4 many years of nationwide expertise in innovation and design. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows. Email

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