The bungalow: An icon of American architecture

February 18, 2013

An article in the Chicago Sun-Times this past Sunday featured the Chicago bungalow, an architectural style much beloved in the Windy City. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley launched an initiative in 2000 to encourage restoration of these iconic homes, which started to become popular in the United States in the early 20th century. 

According to the Sun-Times article, Chicago bungalows are compact, 1-1/2-story brick structures that are 20 feet wide and sited on a standard city lot (25 feet by 125 feet). Aside from that, bungalows are available in a wide variety of square footages and price points. The featured listings range from a South Side classic priced at $145,000 to a North Side model that’s selling for $669,000. The latter, which dates back to 1919, has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two-car detached garage. Other features include leaded-glass windows, a tiled roof and spacious rooms with Craftsman detailing. 
I’ve visited some well-preserved Chicago bungalows and I love their hardwood floors, large banks of windows, French doors and built-ins. And that’s just one variety of bungalow; there are also California bungalows, Craftsman bungalows and so on. When I was growing up in New York City, I used to visit my grandparents at their bungalow in Rockaway Beach. It’s a style that has no doubt influenced many of the new homes being built today.
Senior Editor

Susan Bady has been writing about the housing industry for 30 years. She is senior editor of Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines, and produces the Design Innovation e-newsletter.  Bady has also written for such consumer magazines as Cabin Life and Better Homes and Gardens’ Home Plan Ideas