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1905-1930: American Bungalow

Bungaloid Architecture Takes America by Storm

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The word bungalow is often used for any small 20th century home that uses space efficiently. However there are particular features we associate with bungalow architecture in the USA. Find facts below
An American Bungalow with double front gables

An American Bungalow with double front gables

Photo © Ryan McVay / Getty Images

American Bungalow Features:

  • One and a half stories
  • Most of the living spaces on the ground floor
  • Low-pitched roof and horizontal shape
  • Living room at the center
  • Connecting rooms without hallways
  • Efficient floor plan
  • Built-in cabinets, shelves, and seats

American Bungalow Styles:

California Bungalows, Craftsman Bungalows, and Chicago Bungalows are just a few of the many varieties of the popular American Bungalow form. Learn about Bungalow types and styles: Guide to American Bungalow Styles

History of the American Bungalow:

The Bungalow is an all American housing type, but it has its roots in India. In the province of Bengal, single-family homes were called bangla or bangala. British colonists adapted these one-story thatch-roofed huts to use as summer homes. The space-efficient floor plan of bungalow houses may have also been inspired by army tents and rural English cottages. The idea was to cluster the kitchen, dining area, bedrooms, and bathroom around a central living area.

The first American house to be called a bungalow was designed in 1879 by William Gibbons Preston. Built at Monument Beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the two-story house had the informal air of resort architecture. However, this house was much larger and more elaborate than the homes we think of when we use the term Bungalow.

Two California architects, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, are often credited with inspiring America to build Bungalows. Their most famous project was the huge Craftsman style Gamble house (1909) in Pasadena, California. However, the Green brothers also published more modest Bungalow plans in many magazines and pattern books.

Find Bungalow Floor Plans:

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References:

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