By justin. Bungalow. Published at Saturday, May 27th, 2017 - 15:15:29 PM.
A bungalow is a one- or one-and- a-half story dwelling. Good enough, except that since the period when most bungalows were constructed – roughly 1880 to 1930 in the United States – literally every type of house has at one time been called a bungalow. Two-story houses built on the grounds of hotels are still called bungalows, for example. And to further muddy the definition, the great Southern California architect Charles Sumner Greene went out of his way to call his Gamble house (1909) in Pasadena, Calif., a bungalow. Instead, the Gamble house is a sprawling two-story residence with a third-floor pool room.
The advantages are obvious–the absence of a second story simplifies the building process. Utilities can be installed more easily than in a two-story house. Safety is at a premium because, in the event of fire, windows as well as doors offer easy escape. Best of all, the bungalow allows staircases to be eliminated, a boon for the elderly and also for the homemaker, who can carry out household tasks without a lot of trips up the stairs.
Ironically, the bungalow that had once been the symbol of retreat to the countryside became the architecture of the city and its suburbs. Yet the bungalow did not lose its identification with the rural idyll and a better, golden day. Be it ever so humble, it embodied an ideal for the majority of Americans – the free-standing, single- family dwelling set down in a garden – an ideal that clings to us today.
From the East the idea spread westward. Naturally, California – in everyones mind the ultimate resort – was a promising locale for bungalows. Land was relatively cheap, and the possibility of affordable and comfortable housing was attractive to the young on the make, the sick on the mend, and the old on modest pensions.
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