Bungalow

Willamette Falls Bungalow, West Linn

Willamette Falls Bungalow, West Linn

If you have spent any time at all in Portland, you know how much Portlanders love Bungalows.  There can be no doubt that Bungalows are far and away Portland’s most popular architectural style.  As a real estate agent, it would be hard for me to express how often I am asked about Bungalows.  However, there is actually quite a bit of debate over what exactly makes a home a Bungalow.  Many argue that the Bungalow is the natural descendant of the Arts and Crafts style and, while they do certainly share many stylistic traits, that answer seems incomplete.  Others simply consider the Bungalow as a member of the Craftsman family.  In fact, many Portlanders seem to use the terms Bungalow and Craftsman interchangeably.  What most tend to agree on, though, is that the Bungalow is one of the defining styles in Portland and that a few essential elements are the open floor plans, low-pitched gabled roofs with extended eaves, gabled dormers and large covered front porches. 

The original bungalows were a type of single-story rest house originating in the Bengali region of India during the waning days of the British Empire.  The words derives from the Gujarati bangalo, which comes from the Hindi word bangle, meaning “of or belonging to Bengal.”  These original bungalows were traditionally small one-story  houses with thatched roofs and wide verandas.  In India, Pakistan and much of Thailand, bungalow refers to any single-family house. 

The Bungalow style found extraordinary success across the country, eventually leading to numerous unique, but distinctively “bungalow” styles, including the California Bungalow, Craftsman Bungalow and Ultimate Bungalow. 

Stylistic elements:

  • Covered porches with large support columns
  • Low-pitched, gabled roofs
  • Originally 1 – 1 ½ stories, later Bungalows were often 2 stories
  • Extended eaves with exposed rafters
  • Gabled or shed dormers
  • Shingled roofs
  • Large centered fireplaces
  • Built-in cabinets and shelves

Historic Bungalows:

  • Belle Ainsworth – 20950 SW Farmington Rd.
  • William Hossack – 1916 SE Yamhill

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