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Bungalows & Craftsman Style

Denver’s Architectural Styles

The word “bungalow” originated in India after the Hindustani word “bangala” meaning “belonging to Bengal” and was used as a reference by the British to one-story 19th Century houses with large porches. Rudyard Kipling wrote of his time in India and helped romanticize the Bungalow for millions of Americans. Once arriving in the United States as an architectural idea, the original California bungalows were influenced by Queen Anne Style, though still one-story cottages. The classic American Bungalow became a blend of the original form and Craftsman, Swiss, English and even Japanese, details.

In 1909 in his “Craftsman Homes” Gustav Stickley declared that a bungalow was “a house reduced to its simplest form.” This description is accurate as the materials used were ideally local and left in as close to their natural states as possible. They feature exposed structural elements and are constructed using weather resistant materials. Characterized by wooden, natural beams, stone chimneys, built-in cabinets and exposed rafters, the bungalow also encouraged outdoor living with the typically generous front porch. Both Craftsman Style and Bungalow houses were designed with a utilitarian purpose for a long life of hard use in mind.

Between 1910 and 1930, the bungalow overtook the Denver Square in popularity, and was promoted as the most efficient living space for the cost. Modern elements like built-in electric wiring, concrete floor basements and detached garages emerged through the Bungalow. The basements were developed as additional living space, appropriate to the climate by providing insulated areas that stay warmer in the winter while being cooler in the summer months.

There are many bungalow and craftsman homes in Washington Park, Congress Park, Park Hill and the West Highlands neighborhoods.

The interior of 541 Ogden is a beautiful example of a Craftsman Bungalow
with extensive woodwork in the beams, pillars and built-in bookshelves.

1200 Block of South High

2205 Forest Street

Built in 1907, this is one of the best examples of a Craftsman style in Denver. Contrast in texture is created by the varied use of material. There is a strong Japanese influence in the exposed rafters.

4821 & 4837 Perry

These are both examples of Clapboard Bungalows, using the material common to the original California Bungalows

354 Washington

Arlington Park

4911 Newton

Both examples of the use of cobblestone, which was a commonly used material in the original California Bungalow construction, but rarely seen in Denver.

600 Williams

The unique knee braces under the eaves as well as the built in garage distinguish this North Country Club Bungalow.

759 South Downing

Open gable porches like this one were often featured in Bungalows.

421 & 457 South Downing

The low slung broad porches are typical of Bungalow architecture. An English influence is manifested through the clipped gables.

1051 & 1225 South Downing

Both have unique dormers that exemplify the unique tastes that were often applied to the standard Bungalow form.

431 South Downing

Incorporates an imitation thatched roof of English influence.

200 Block of Grant Street

Distinctive Gable Treatment and decorative gable windows with small flower boxes & wood railings.

405 South Corona

Suggests Wright’s Prairie Style through emphasis on horizontality, overhanging eaves and low rooflines.

1150 Lafayette

High Style Craftsman influenced by Denver Architect Edwin H. Moorman, who is credited for introducing the Craftsman style to Denver.

Source: Denver the City Beautiful by Thomas J Noel & Barbara Norgren

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