Heritage, 2010, Volume 1 Page: 14
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Historic Bungalow Architecture
Influenced by the "bangla" homes found in India,
which were small, one-story houses with thatched
roofs and wide verandas, the bungalow design was
popular from the early 1900s to the 1930s in this
country. Typically, the structural characteristics of
a bungalow were one to one-and-a-half stories in
height, rectangular or square in shape, and they
featured a low-pitched, gabled or hipped roof,
wide eaves, dormered windows, and a front porch
framed by wood, stone, or brick columns. The inte-
rior design was an open and efficient floor plan-
with the kitchen, dining room, and bedrooms lo-
cated directly (no hallways) off of a central living
Architecturally, the bungalow was a basic "form" or
shape of a house or building, but the "style" (varia-
tions on interior and exterior design elements) was
determined by regional, national, and sometimes
international influences. For example, stucco, terra
cotta tiled roofs, wrought-iron accents, and arched
doorways were the some of the distinctive features
of Spanish bungalow exteriors. Craftsman bunga-
lows were a reflection of the Arts and Crafts move-
ment, which focused on simplicity (in opposition
to the more ornate architecture of the Victorian era),
the use of natural materials, and quality craftsman-
ship. This bungalow style included exposed roof
rafters, eaves accented with decorative triangular
brackets, stained glass windows, and handcrafted
stone or woodwork. Beamed ceilings, wainscot-
ing, and a fireplace framed by built-in cabinets or
shelves were a few of the interior design elements.
Image above: Chicago bungalows were built pri-
marily from brick and were positioned on the city's
long, narrow lots with the shorter side of its rectan-
gular shape facing the street. 1925 Chicago Bunga-
low in Skokie, Illinois. Photo GNU General Public
Above: The hipped roof is a distinctive design element of this Norhill bungalow.
Below: Original street posts mark the Norhill neighborhood. Both images above are by
hoods. I want to protect deed restrictions. The city will be more aggressive
and proactive in helping shore up deed restrictions that exist."
Today, Norhill is one of Houston's more desirable neighborhoods
largely in part because of its charming 1920's bungalows and tree-lined
esplanades. The community stands as testimony that neighborhood
preservation is sustainable through planning and diligence, but most
of all by creating a quality of life that people do not want to change.*
Pamela Murtha is the assistant editor of HERITAGE magazine.
Author's note: The 1999 application for designation ofNorhill as a historic
district, submitted by the Proctor Plaza Neighborhood Association, thoroughly
documents the history of this unique residential area and was the main source
of the historic information for this article.
HERITAGEE Volume 1 2010
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2010, Volume 1, periodical, 2010; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254216/m1/14/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.