“Whatever its origins, the Southern California bungalow, as it flourished in the early 1900s, constituted a dramatically successful solution to the challenge of creating moderately priced, regionally suitable domestic architecture.” - Kevin Starr, Material Dreams
A Type, A Style, An Idea
One hundred years ago, Los Angeles grew large and fast. The proliferation of affordable bungalows made this urban expansion possible. In the decades before World War II, thousands of Americans moved West in search of opportunities. Many purchased bungalows, a building type that had also recently arrived in California. As an architecture of international provenance, bungalows adapted well to this new setting. They spread across the region, covering the landscape like poppies in bloom. Since then, less sustainable domesticities have supplanted the bungalow lifestyle in Los Angeles. Today, a paucity of affordable housing besets the City of Angels, which can’t remain a town of new beginnings without cheaper places to live. Bungalows, those ubiquitous but inconspicuous monuments to Los Angeles’s past, shed light on this complex housing crisis.