Chicago Group Celebrates Bungalow Belt’s 100th Anniversary

Midwest, Preservation
Thursday, January 2, 2014
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5300 S block of Sawyer mid to late 1920s bungalows (Eric Allix Rogers via Flickr)

5300 S block of Sawyer mid to late 1920s bungalows (Eric Allix Rogers via Flickr)

Among Chicago’s architectural peculiarities, none is perhaps better known than its bungalow belt—the swath of elongated, single-family homes that ring the city’s outer neighborhoods and suburbs.

A map of Chicago's "bungalow belt." (Historic Chicago Bungalow Association)

A map of Chicago’s “bungalow belt.” (Historic Chicago Bungalow Association)

Robin Amer has a multimedia look at the past and present of the stout, stone building type for WBEZ.

The Historic Chicago Bungalow Association places the arrival of bungalows in Chicago around 100 years ago, and is planning a series of events to celebrate and discuss historic houses next year. The group attributes nearly one-third of the city’s single-family housing stock to the area’s roughly 80,000 bungalows. Amer writes:

There were a small number of bungalows built here in 1907 and 1908, and another handful in 1910. But Mary Ellen Guest, the association’s executive director, said that the building of bungalows really picked up a century ago.

Bungalows really started to catch fire in 1913 and 1914,” Guest said, in large part because a population boom was underway. The city grew by more than 500,000 people—from 2.2 million to 2.7 million—between 1910 and 1920, according to data from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

But the family makes the home, after all, and Amer’s article ultimately puts its focus on Chicago area homeowners who share an affinity for the building type. Take a multimedia tour here.

There are more than 80,000 bungalows in Chicago. Here are a few of them. Taken in the Auburn Gresham Historic District.  (Robin Amer)

There are more than 80,000 bungalows in Chicago. Here are a few of them. Taken in the Auburn Gresham Historic District. (Robin Amer)

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