2889 East Overlook (1985)


Pre-cursor of the post-World War I I ranch house, the" California bungalow" was enormously popular in the decades from 1900 through the '20s. Spread not by architects but by inexpensive builders' plan books, bungalows first proliferated in California, where the finest examples were designed by the architect-brothers Charles and Henry Greene, in Pasadena. The word bungalow, however, is Indian, a corruption of the Hindustani word "bangla," meaning "of Bengal." English rajs in India admired the rustic style as they saw it in hill villages where they summered, and transported it home, where it fit with the English Arts and Crafts philosophy. Other national references apply as well, including the Swiss chalet and Japanese tea house and temple.


This house, built in 1919 probably from a builders' book, charmingly exemplifies the bungalow style. Typical of the style are side porch formed by a wide, overhanging gable supported by massive, tapered piers, multiple roofs with slight pitch, and deep eaves with exposed and extended rafters. Typical too is the emphasis upon the natural qualities of the building materials: the cobblestone bases of the porch piers and chimney (which also has stones naturalized into the upper brick areas), the abundant exposed wood, and the tactile richness of the shingle facade. The bungalow across the street at 2900 exhibits many of these same features.


Inside, the floor plan is open and airy; wide arches between rooms provide a sense of spaciousness and modernity. The true bungalow is a small, single-story house; because the attractive staircase in the center hall leads to a low-ceilinged second floor, perhaps this cozy family home may best be called "bungaloid."