Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh, Give Us A Home Where The Bungalow Roam!

Oh, Give Us A Home Where The Bungalow Roam and the skies are not cloudy all day!

Did I just sing BUNGALOW ROAM? I fear, yes.  Oh go on, scoff if you will!

As I wander around this Bungalow, Quite The Stir, right here in Gettysburg, PA and perhaps strain on tip toes reaching upwards whilst lowering the folding attic stair steps or mayhaps adjusting a transom here and sliding a wooden pocket door there...I find myself actually singing these words aloud. In my interaction with magnificent architecture, detailed arts and crafts and pure history, I find the beauty of music. It is my hope that by the time you've arrived at the end of this simplistic tale (and re-read, tweeted, face booked, whistled and woofered), you too will be singing along with us all the praises and beauty of the "Bungalow as she roams"...alongside all of America, and ROBUSTLY too!

It's rather nice to know Quite The Stir didn't make room, or give way to build modern day homes! No sir, the owners of this little Bungalow, past to present, held stalwart in the face of modern progress! How's that for a quotation? "Held Stalwart In The Face Of Modern Progress".  Thank you Gettysburg Springs Hotel, thank you Mr. MacPherson, thank you Orin, thank you John Knickerbocker, thank you Edith, thank you Mildred, thank you Robert, thank you Jolene. Me, Jolene, what? Why I'm just a 'lil ole Bungalow enthusiast gal!

Well, 'lil ole Bungalow enthusiast gals have been know to say, "HERE'S A BIG HUGE LARGESS OF TIFF TOFF GUESS WHAT?"  I didn't know it before, but after a year and a half of intense research, I now know "These historically preserved Bungalows are HOT PROPERTY" and I'm glad the temptation to resist change roared a bit here at 500 West Middle Street in Gettysburg, PA!

Historically preserved Bungalows are perpetually, being sought after more and more each day by historians, preservationists and enthusiasts of bungalows, arts and crafts and purveyors of the early 20th century!

Enough said, but, only after all that follows, (a jocular and hardy hi ho jab to the ribs on enough said!)

"Whether people are fully conscious of this or not, they actually derive countenance and sustenance from the 'atmosphere' of the things they live in or with. They are rooted in them just as a plant is in the soil in which it is planted."            Frank Lloyd Wright.

Frank, (I like to call him Lloyd, but that's personal) "my old compatriot in my dreams of architecture", I finally understand what you meant by that eloquent statement NOW although I'll admit,  the meaning alluded me for a while.   That statement rallies to remind me of much more as it relates to Quite The Stir Bungalow.  Once upon a time,  not too long ago someone once hazarded a query of  me, "Who, exactly, do you think you are?"  I now, unlike then, ponder the question and hestiate not! My response to that evah so bold question is  "Well, here is exactly who I think I are...among other adjectives, I am a Bungalow enthusiast!

I'm certainly, by no ones' wildest stretch of the imagination, Frank Lloyd Wright, or the Renaissance Man,...Renaissance Woman maaaaybe... but, let's together, briefly explore the history, the novelty and magnificence of the Bungalow by yards of wood and the sound of craftsman's hammers.  And, whilst we're exploring above the roar of construction, you -yourselves, may wish to contemplate, "Can I possibly be a Bungalow enthusiast too?"   Further, how do you know if you are not an every day, not a run of the mill enthusiast or a latent enthusiast?!  Well, consider the following, as you struggle to answer to those questions.

With a not too obscure bit of history you'll know that, yesterdays' home ownership, early 20th century, was the oft times unattainable dream of Americans. In fact, home ownership was often an overtly impossible dream, what with the Great Depression, The Dust Bowl, WWII, and so much more!  However, through demand, in the quest for fulfillment to the dream of home ownership, there arose, not just any home, but the viable, the ideal,...(big band swing music here, please) may we present the answer to the American home in the form of the clapboard Bungalow with white picket fence?! 

Bungalow origin has its' beginnings, the roots, it's said from the Indian province of Bengal. Through passage of time and evolution along a circuitious route, these Bungalow ever practical homes reached North America ( the Pilgrims) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From the East of America the Bungalow noteably spread to the West of California.

Many Bungalows were shipped into towns and cities via rail and into the hands of their prospective, anxious thoughtful owners as "Kit Home" Bungalows, produced by Van Tine, Crofton, Sears, Montgomery Ward and numerous other manufacturers. We'll talk more in a later "fireside chat" about "Kit Homes"!

Oh mother, these amazing Bungalows were found to be quite popular and soon dotted the countryside, towns, highways and by-ways throughout America!   Whether stick built or kit home, ranch, raised, chalet or American Bungalow which typified the Arts and Crafts movement, we're very sure that the popularity of the Bungalow is based on a master plan that heeded a call to revolutionize and epitomize simplicity, practicality and economy in layout and we're living that testimony each day! And yet, the master plan answered the need for flexibility which was of uppermost priority of Americans. Easy access, comfortable living was afforded by Bungalows. The 'footprint' of a bungalow is often a simple rectangle, and Quite The Stir Bungalow is testimony to that fact, too.   Here is another revelation from 'lil ole Bungalow enthusiast gals, the masterplan worked judging from the amount of Bungalows still standing today!

By way of description, our all American Craftsman Bungalow, Quite The Stir, typifies the common style bungalow of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Characteristic to this bungalow are common features which oftentime include low-pitch roof lines on a gabled or hipped roof; deeply overhanging eaves; exposed rafters and possible decorative brackets under the eaves; and a front porch beneath an extension of the main roof. A Bungalow, usually, can be defined as a one to one-and- a-half story dwelling. Ours, if a one story Bungalow.   Note:  Sadly, but necessarily, our Bungalow was re-sided from her original clapboard siding, but that too is a restoration we may hope to one day complete, with time patience and funding.

To be sure, there are quite a few more amazing Bungalow styles, from the California Bungalow to the Ultimate Bungalow. Then there are the Chicago Bungalows, Michigan and Milwaukee Bungalows and the once wildly popular Bungalow Colonies in New York... but, I remain true to the American Arts and Crafts Bungalow such as ours.

After a year and a half, I can emphatically agree that most Bungalows, then as todays' homes, were built with the idea of fulfillment of the American Dream...a home of ones' own which included economical simplicity and artistic beauty! The bungalow offered, then as now, its owners the "golden key" and a chance at the good life quite affordably.

If you have a chance to visit an architecturally preserved bungalow, you'll find they are simple in detail yet at other times offer a tremendous variety in architecture. Bungalows are truly architecture that reflected the urban and rural needs of America yesterday. From California to the Blue Ridge Mountains, from the Gulf Stream waters ... the Bungalow was made for you and me (singing again!)

How good was the Bungalow? Mother, dare you ask now, after all of this?  Quite The Stir Bungalow is still here, aren't we? The designs of Bungalows have solidly withstood the challenges of our times and have shown themselves to be adaptable and flexible enough to deal with the evolving changes through the last 70-80 years.

Today or tomorrow,  should the opportunity make itself available to you...make time to tour, browse, rent, buy, look, build or eat an historically preserved Bungalow and do so post haste!  Don't overlook the integrity of these beauties! Sure, it's not a green home, a condo, a stately Victorian and surely it's in fact, not a colonial, rambling ranch, bi-level or split level, neither elegant Georgian or is in fact, uniquely the Bungalow!

I'm honored to say that friends and guests, GI Joes and GI Janes are all drawn, time and again, to the simplicity and loveliness of a real American Bungalow, Quite The Stir Bed and Breakfast Bungalow.  They often times seek only the reprieve of yesterday, mayhaps a bit of the 1930s glamour and the 1940s attitude and style. Ever a shelter, a stout Bungalow, once inside Quite The Stir Bungalow you'll find you're a long ways away from the fast-paced let's-have-it-now-rather, yesterday society.

By all house legends and any perceptions, the Bungalows' got it heads over the others,...yet today!

Interested in a Tour?  With advance reservations, individuals and very small groups may schedule a tour by the innkeeper, yours truly 'lil Bungalow enthusiast gal, Jolene.  While this tour is priceless, we do courteously ask for reservations at !

For further, detailed Bungalow studies, may we recommend The American Bungalow Magazine (which we highly, evah so highly recommend), and for more Bungalows and Kit Home information: The House That Sears Built.