This week we’ve shuffled a little bit further into the 1900s and are looking into the back-story of The Craftsman Bungalow, a style of home characterized by low pitched roof lines, exposed rafters under the eaves, thick square columns, double hung windows, and hand-crafted stone/woodwork. Not a curlicue in sight. Or a bustle methinks.
Originating in the British Arts and Crafts Movement, this type of housing style emphasized simple forms and centrality of living space. Enter the Middle Class. So long domestic servants, butlers’ pantries, and a division between the kitchen and the rest of the house. It was during this time in history the breakfast nook came into being, offering a place for family to gather in the midst of food preparation and cleanup.
Several factors influenced the introduction of the American Middle Class and the demand for practicality, efficiency, and affordability:
People: The massive influx of immigration pushed the American population from 76 million in 1900 to 92 million in 1910. Major cities mushroomed in size; factories grew, jobs increased; women’s rights, labor unions, and the cry for equality railed against upper class dominance; social change was in the air.
Economics: Under the leadership of President Taft, citizens were encouraged to use savings accounts in federally regulated banks, a move that served to reduce the distinction between the upper and lower class.
Style: Formal was on the way out, making way for casual dress, art, entertainment, and architecture. The growing unrest overseas prior to the Great War influenced consumers to save both money and materials on clothing and housing.
Thankfully, a smattering of Craftsman Bungalows still stand in Snohomish County today, offering a welcome glimpse into a fabulously rich architectural era.
My name is Joni Kerley, specializing in Snohomish County real estate. Have a hankering for a Craftsman Bungalow era home? For more information on these and other styles in our area, give me a call at 425-343-4545.
Photo © 2011 Joni Kerley
Reference: Twenty-First Century Books, America in the 1910s, by Marlene Targ Brill, Minneapolis, MN, 2010.