Chicago’s Chatham, West Chatham and South Shore neighborhoods host a bounty of historic bungalow homes. The brick, robust style dwellings, befittingly called “Chicago Bungalows,” have helped define the city’s communities for generations and have gained national attention. In fact, South Shore and West Chatham bungalows are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The NRHP is an official list of sites around the country that are worthy of preservation.
Faith Rackow, deputy director, Historic Chicago Bungalow Association (HCBA) told the Chicago Citizen, that in her opinion, a national recognition such as placement on the NRHP fosters community pride.
A Chicago Bungalow is a 1 ½ story brick single family structure built between 1910 and 1940. The prairie style home has overhanging eaves, limestone highlights and detailed windows. In addition, the bungalow has a roofline that is perpendicular to the street. Born out of the Arts and Crafts movement, Chicago Bungalows were designed to fit on the city’s urban lots.
The South Shore district has 318 original structures and 229 are Chicago Bungalows. The homes were designed by over 35 different architects. Despite the many developers, the bungalows in this area maintain uniformity. With its mixture of frame, stucco, and brick structures, the South Shore district exhibits a natural variety of forms, texture and colors, according to the HCBA.
West Chatham began to flourish as a bungalow neighborhood in the 1920’s. Out of 347 structures in the community, 281 are Chicago Bungalows.
According to Rackow, every bungalow community is unique because the developer left their imprint on the neighborhood through design and architecture. For example, F.A. Fielder was a West Chatham developer who left an indelible mark on the community. Fielder, designed bungalows on south Yale Avenue. His bungalows included distinctive features like flat or polygonal bays with side entrances, low-pitched, hipped roofs and brick and limestone detailing on the facades. And, according to the HCBA, Fielder brought an Art Deco twist, which set south Yale Avenue apart from the rest of West Chatham.
On Oct. 26, HCBA is hosting a workshop series at Avalon Library, 8148 S. Stony Island Ave. The session will provide tips on energy efficiency, seasonal maintenance and preserving architectural features of historically significant homes. Matt Cole from Neighborhood Housing Services will be the keynote speaker.
The seminar is free and space is limited. To RSVP please call 312-675-0300 x 10 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Historic Chicago Bungalow Association
by Thelma Sardin