Thematic: Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Vernacular, Catalog House

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Concept of a Thematic District | Bungalow — Description | Bungalow — Architectural Overview |
Catalog — Description | Colonial Revival — Description | Colonial Revival — Architectural Overview


Bungalow - Description

The term “bungalow” is thought to have originated in Colonial India, and especially in the Bengal region. It was used to refer to the small, usually one-story, buildings used by Europeans within the interior of India. The term is first found in reference to housing on an old Dutch chart of India dating to ca. 1680.

The term came into common usage in the United States in the early 20th century. Most houses to which the term was applied are one-story, with hip or gabled peaked roofs, and situated with their narrow dimensions facing the street. This permitted narrower lots and thus a higher density of buildings in a given area.

Although built as affordable mass housing for middle-class families, most bungalows were solidly-constructed, and many have quite distinctive and tasteful detailing. One of the more notable styles is the Chicago Bungalow, found in the thousands within the city, its suburbs, and in many nearby municipalities, including Joliet. This type, usually constructed of brick, is distinguished by its prominent bay window dominating the front and the small porch sheltering the front entry door on one or the other front corner.

Bungalows were also dressed with features of various architectural styles, among them Arts and Crafts, Prairie, and Mission. Most of these styles are also found on bungalows in Joliet.