Craftsman Bungalow – popular 1905-1930

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craftsman bungalows in Nashville, TN

Photo: Bungalows in the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood, Nashville, TN. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Photographed by User:Nashvilleneighbor (own work), 2007, via Wikimedia Commons, accessed April, 2013.

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The bungalow was adapted from the type of housing found in India. With low roof lines and verandahs, the main living room was centrally placed surrounded by secondary rooms and porches. The Craftsman bungalow offered a comfortable, practical design built with quality materials and a rustic, natural style, both inside and out. This bungalow style became popular throughout the United States, especially for the middle class.

Identifying characteristics include a low, horizontal structure, usually 1‑1/2 stories (two-story more common in northeastern and mid-western United States); broad overhanging eaves with exposed roof rafters and ridge beams; braces and beams added underneath gables; exposed roof and window brackets; windows grouped to capture large amounts of natural light; multi-light double hung windows or casements; squared window bays; stained or leaded glass windows; wide front porch with balustrades and square columns atop broad bases (bases generally begin at ground level and extend above the porch level); exteriors made from materials such as brick, stone, concrete blocks, stucco, and earth-toned stains on wood or wood shingles.

Arts & Crafts [1]

The design of the bungalow was influenced by the Prairie School movement of the Midwest, the California Arts and Crafts movement, and a number of vernacular housing types. Part of the bungalow's appeal was its adaptation of these and other architectural influences in the form of a small comfortable house. The suburban bungalow – in styles ranging from English Cottage styles to the Mission Revival style of the Southwest – was popularized nationwide by periodicals such as Western Architect, Ladies' Home Journal, Craftsman, and Bungalow Magazine. Numerous catalogs and books appeared, many in multiple editions, including William A. Radford's Artistic Bungalows (1908), Henry L. Wilson's Bungalow Book (1910), Henry H. Saylor's Bungalow Book (1911), H. V. Von Holst's Modern American Homes (1913), Gustav Stickley's Craftsman Homes (1909) and More Craftsman Homes (1912), and Charles E. White's Bungalow Book (1923).

Craftsman Style [2]

The Craftsman style was popular in American residential design from c. 1905 through 1930. The style evolved from the early designs of Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, who practiced architecture in California from 1893 to 1914. The Greenes designed both elaborate and simple bungalow houses inspired by the English Arts and Crafts movement as well as Asian architecture. Popularized by architectural magazines and builder pattern books, the one-story Craftsman house became popular nationwide during the early decades of the twentieth century as the most fashionable style for a smaller house. Identifying features include low-pitched roofs; wide eave overhangs, often with exposed roof rafters; decorative beams or braces under gables; and full- or partial-width porches supported by square or battered piers. Eighty-nine examples of the Craftsman/Bungalow style were documented in the Historic Garlinghouse Resources of Topeka, KS 1910-1960 survey (2019), making it the most common style identified. The prevalence of the Craftsman style in Garlinghouse Company designs correlates to its most robust period of construction from 1906 to 1930 and reflects the popularity of the style for purchasers of home plans during the early 1900s.

Craftsman Bundalow [3]

A style that has a significant presence in the district is representative of the trend in residential design away from American or European precedents during the early 1900s. Craftsman/Bungalow architecture broke from the Queen Anne style that had been popular for years. The Craftsman style was inspired in part by the work of brothers Charles and Henry Greene in California. Their work spanned from 1893 to 1914; in 1903 they began applying Arts & Crafts details to simple bungalows that quickly became popularized by several home magazines of the period, including Gustav Stickley’s The Craftsman. The term bungalow originates in India where it refers to a low house surrounded by porches. The American form of the bungalow was publicized in California. The Craftsman style spread quickly through the country as an acceptable and desirable style for the growing middle class in quickly developing suburbs. These homes were further popularized in pattern books and other home magazines, as well as in local newspapers. The bungalow form and Craftsman style were popular from about 1905-1935.
  1. Adapted from: National Register of Historic Places, Historic Residential Suburbs the United States, Adapted from: 1830–1960, Multiple Property Documentation Form, September 2002, Washington DC
  2. Emily Lenhausen (editing by Kansas SHPO staff), Rosin Preservation, Historic Houses of the Garlinghouse Company in Topeka, nomination document, 2019, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, DC.œ
  3. Adapted from:Kurt West Garner, Clarksville Historic Preservation Commission, Patterson Place Historic District, nomination document, 2021, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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