|The word "Bungalow" derives from the Indian word bangla, which, in the 19th century, referred to homes built in the Bengal style. Bangla were typified as thatched roof cottages with low roofs and porches constructed around them. A bungalow style home was created when British colonial administrators adapted this classic style of Indian architecture when building their summer retreats, organizing all of the typical rooms of a house on a single floor around a central parlor. The Bungalow style became popular in Europe as a form of resort lodging and made its way to America in 1879 when William Gibbons Preston designed a two-story version to be built at Monument Beach in Cape Cod, MA.
The Bungalow's prominence in warm weather locations explains many of its heat reducing features. Bungalow style homes usually have only one floor although some variations are one and a half stories tall. They typically have two levels but the second floor covers less surface area than the ground floor. They adorn low-pitched roofs with wide, overhanging eaves. The large foundation needed to create a whole house on only one floor translates to a roof with a vast surface area; the attics of these houses, therefore, absorb a great deal of excess heat in the summer. Large porches are also considered hallmarks of the bungalow style; stone chimneys leading to substantial and prominently placed fireplaces are another favored feature of the Bungalow style home as well as dominant horizontal accents.
The heyday for the American bungalow style home began during the mass migration to California in the early 1900s. Two architects in California, Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, known collectively as Greene and Greene, created one and a half story bungalows whose designs became so quickly and hugely popular that it was soon possible to order mass-produced bungalow building sets via the mail. The homes were well suited to the California sun and thousands of them were constructed to accommodate the state's burgeoning population. Bungalow houses have become particularly linked with California; the versions found there are aptly named the California bungalow.
In the greater Chicagoland area, the Brick Bungalow and Chicago Bungalow are a prominent architectural style home. The Chicago Bungalow seems to have been a further development of the larger and more elaborate worker's cottages of the late nineteenth century. Floor plans were often identical with the public spaces- living, dining and kitchen- on one side of the building and small bedrooms on the other. In most bungalows, however, the older gable-front of the cottages was replaced with a "hipped" roof, meaning that the gable was slipped off and the front pitched down toward the street, often with a dormer. In many cases this allowed for the incorporation of a large front porch or enclosed sunroom. The Bungalow was closely related to the standard two-flat (highlight and eventually link to that entry), which was really conceptually just two bungalows piled on top of each other. There were also much more elaborate Bungalows with considerably more elaborated floor plans.
Although Bungalows in the city of Chicago appear to have been built of load-bearing brick, there were also frame Bungalows and frame Bungalows with brick veneer. Unlike the cottages built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Bungalows were usually equipped from the start with central heating and full indoor plumbing. They were, in many ways, the first really "modern" home for the working class.