I discovered the Chicago Bungalow Association in 2016 when I was in the process of buying a house. My realtor suggested that I focus on a specific style of single family home that appealed to me so that he could narrow our search by price point and city neighborhoods… clearly I chose the bungalow style. Maybe it’s because I’m originally from the West Coast, but bungalows seemed to provide the best comfort of both worlds: a combination of that California Craftsman bungalow vibe I love mixed with the solid brick construction that I’d come to rely on in the Midwest. If you’re not familiar with the Bungalow Association, here are just a couple of reasons why I love them…
In 2000, the City of Chicago recognized that their bungalows were an integral part of the architecture and history of the city, and that they needed to be preserved. An Initiative was passed, The Historic Chicago Bungalow Initiative, and in 2001 the Chicago Bungalow Association was founded.
Register your bungalow
The CBA is a non-profit, NOT a historic registry. Instead, they work with homeowners to provide resources, whether it’s a tax credit or a list of places to get stained glass windows repaired, in order to keep these bungalows functional and valuable to residents and communities. Become a member of the CBA here! And, if you register your bungalow with them (registration is free) you’ll receive a certificate and commemorative plaque. Learn about ways you can help the CBA here.
If you need to know who to call for reliable tuck-pointing and brick repair, the CBA has those references on their website. Is your home drafty and costing you hundreds of dollars to heat during the winter? The CBA has partnered with ComEd and Peoples Gas to provide free weatherization services for households that qualify.
If your community or neighborhood qualifies, it could be registered through the CBA put on the National Register of Historic Places. For residents that means a property tax freeze. Read more about the neighborhoods throughout Chicago that are currently on that list here.
Every fall the CBA collects submissions for the Driehaus Awards, recognizing bungalow owners for outstanding work in several different categories; from interior and exterior restorations or renovation projects to landscaping projects and more. See the 2017 winners here. During the summer, the CBA collects submissions for the Bungalow Garden Contest which showcases the best gardens, yards, and planters of the year.
Yes. Free. And you don’t even have to own a bungalow to attend. Just sign up to become a member (again: here) and you’ll be added to an e-mail list of gold. The seminars include landscaping and gardening on a budget, how-to’s on a variety of subjects from trim restoration to mold and basement water remediation, to learning how to research the history of your home, and so much more.
Every year the CBA works hard to grow their list of services, knowledge, and resources for homeowners, as well as advocating to preserve the history of the Chicago Bungalow Belt. Please learn more about the CBA by visiting their website: www.chicagobungalow.org .