What area or city has the most bungalow housing?
September 9, 2015 1:48 PM   Subscribe

I assumed it was Southern California but a lot of places that used to have them, don't any longer. I assume due to the rising value of the real estate. So where are the most bungalow houses per capital in terms of areas or cities?
posted by rileyray3000 to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've never seen a ranking of bungalows by city, but Chicago brick bungalows make up 1/3 of the city's single-family housing stock (about 80,000, according to the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association). Some of the closer-in, older suburbs, like Berywn, probably have a much higher per capita number.
posted by hwyengr at 1:56 PM on September 9, 2015 [6 favorites]

Is this question limited to the US? I can't tell.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:04 PM on September 9, 2015

The Census tracks housing units by type, table B25024, but they only break out "single family detached" (i.e. houses, with each house on its' own lot) without looking specifically at bungalow houses versus split-levels, two-stories or other multi-level houses. So it'll be hard to develop truly accurate estimates of bungalows specifically. The link above goes to a cut of the table by "places" in California which are mostly legal city boundaries; you can change the geography if you want.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:09 PM on September 9, 2015

It might be helpful to look at which cities/areas were expanding at the time bungalows were in style, which seems to be 1905 to 1930 or so in the US.
posted by jaguar at 2:15 PM on September 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

In addition to jaguar's point about looking for cities where lots of housing stock was built during the bungalow heyday - which peaked in the 1920s - look for cities that have historic districts or ordinances that would preserve the houses.

Pasadena has a famous bungalow neighborhood. There are also a lot of bungalows in the Bay Area. Craftsman bungalows tend to be well-preserved in Berkeley and Albany. Richmond and El Cerrito also have lots of 1940s and 50s single-story homes.
posted by expialidocious at 4:19 PM on September 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

The answer would skew based on how you want to rank it: percentage of available housing? per capita? per square mile? per city (high size variation)?

My guess would also be Southern California where you see all styles of bungalows - in my neighborhood there are California style, Mission, Spanish Colonial, Craftsman and Colonials. But Chicago, with it's signature Chicago style, Prairie and Foursquares probably makes a strong run for it too.
posted by 26.2 at 4:20 PM on September 9, 2015

Dearborn, Michigan has a high density of them near the Ford campus, built back in the day to be affordable housing for Henry Ford's growing workforce. But I have no idea how it compares to the density of other areas developed during the peak period.
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:43 PM on September 9, 2015

If by "bungalow" you mean a small, single-story house or a two-story house with a smaller second story under the eaves—but not as big as a Cape Cod—then southwestern Michigan certainly has a high density. It's not just Dearborn; Ypsilanti, MI, has whole neighborhoods of them. My sister's 1100 square foot, 2-story house is large for her neighborhood, where 600-800 square foot one-story houses are common.

If you have a more specific sense of "bungalow," as in the Craftsman-style bungalow, you should specify that, since the word doesn't mean the same thing everywhere.
posted by brianogilvie at 6:32 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think you do really need to define bungalow, because it means different things in different contexts. Single story? One-and-a-half? Do you require a porch?

My guess would be further north than Southern California, as there has been so much non-bungalow construction in SoCal. I would guess a smaller centre in the Pacific Northwest that hasn't seen that much construction in recent decades, maybe somewhere like Spokane. You'd want somewhere without much economic activity because if people have excess money, they tend to add additional stories and otherwise change their homes.

If you are willing to look at even smaller cities and towns, there are a lot of old mining or other company towns where all the houses were built at once and more or less identically. I'm sure there are plenty that were probably entirely bungalows 50 years ago (e.g. my hometown, a small Canadian mining town, was almost entirely bungalows in 1955), so if you find one that hasn't changed that much, that would likely give you the highest percentage of bungalows out of the total number of dwelling units.
posted by ssg at 7:50 PM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Are you asking within thw US, or internationally? Wikipedia has a useful article on bungalows. Apparently they are still popular in rural Bangladesh, and are common in Ireland. Milwaukee and surrounding Wisconsin towns are also (as the article says) fairly bungalow-heavy.

A caution, however: do not trust a Canadian to give you accurate info about bungalows. They have somehow adopted the term to refer to mid-century ranch style houses.
posted by eviemath at 6:18 AM on September 10, 2015

See also "California bungalow" for a more comprehensive list of bungalow neighborhoods and building history in the US.
posted by eviemath at 6:26 AM on September 10, 2015

This Canadian is pretty well aware that bungalow can mean different things in different areas and is quite aware of the American definition. Rest assured that my comment does not refer to mid-century ranch style houses (and as a matter of fact, bungalow can refer to pretty much any single story house in Canada, though it is a not a word that sees much use these days).
posted by ssg at 11:06 AM on September 10, 2015

Hmm, this is a good question. Oakland CA has blocks and blocks of California Bungalow neighborhoods- I wouldn't be surprised if it was the predominant hosing type (we live in a 1914 craftsman style bunglaow). Trulia used to have a great interactive map of when houses were built,but I can't find it on their site. Will keep looking.

Meaniwhile, this might help with some ideas of where to look: Bungalow Neighborhoods
posted by oneirodynia at 7:07 PM on September 10, 2015

If you're talking internationally (this is the internet - scope needs to be specified), then the smaller cities of Australia should be considered. Perth, Adelaide and Canberra are all mostly single storey houses.
posted by kjs4 at 12:44 AM on September 11, 2015

Though reading the other answers, bungalow may not mean what I think it means.
posted by kjs4 at 12:47 AM on September 11, 2015

Orlando, FL has a lot too, to the point where there's a popular city blog called Bungalower.
posted by judith at 8:38 PM on September 15, 2015

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