“In some parts of Chicago, you can walk for blocks and blocks looking at rows of Chicago bungalows, which are as much an icon of Chicago architecture as the more imposing downtown buildings we’ve covered in this series.
“Walk along the 8300 to 8500 blocks of South May Street in Auburn Gresham and you’ll spot many of the varieties. Red brick, yellow brick, brown brick. Flat facades and octagon facades. Front entrance or side entrance. Bungalows that have been updated subtly, with their additions tucked toward the back so they don’t interrupt the historical streetscape. Bungalows that aren’t so subtle, with big, second-story additions known as pop tops, or with fake-boulder permastone applied to the exterior so it looks like a Flintstones house.
“These couple blocks are a small stretch of Chicago’s Bungalow Belt, a giant C-shaped swath of the city that curves from West Rogers Park on the Far North Side, out along the West Side and back near the Indiana State Line in South Chicago. Those areas are where Chicago was growing fast in the first decades of the 20th century and tens of thousands of bungalows were built to house the surging population.
“According to the Chicago Bungalow Association, there are about 80,000 bungalows in that belt, which make up almost one out of every three houses in Chicago.” (Rodkin, WBEZ Chicago, 8/17/23)