There’s a reason why the Chicago bungalow is such a popular choice with today’s families. The quaint brick homes, noted for their large front windows and walk-up entrances, have held up as affordable options for buyers who care about character as much as living space. Built en masse between the the World Wars, Chicago bungalows were, and very much remain, a symbol of the city’s burgeoning working class.
In recent years, seeking to expand these compact homes' floor plans, property owners and flippers have taken to adding full second-level expansions to bungalows. Often referred to as “pop-tops,” the additions have been decried by preservation groups as unsightly and overbearing.
Fearing a precedent that would allow renovated bungalows to alter the appearance of the city’s residential streets, the Chicago Bungalow Association recently launched a social media campaign (#StopThePop) to raise awareness of the issue. Additionally, the group offered guidelines on how to expand a bungalow in an aesthetically sensitive way.
Additionally, the Tribune reports that a cluster of bungalows in Hermosa were added to the National Register of Historic Places earlier this week — a move that may give teeth to preservationists' cause. And while Hermosa, a staple of Chicago’s Bungalow Belt, possesses some shining examples of such residences, these charmers can be found all across the greater northwest side.
Here are a few on the market:
One of the nice things about Chicago bungalows is that they don’t have to cost a fortune. While this 1,400-square-foot three-bedroom in Belmont-Cragin will need some updating, it’s got great bones and will polish up nicely.
Of course, if you’re seeking a home that has already been lightly refreshed, there are plenty of options available. This spacious 3,000-square-foot bungalow has been fully renovated, complete with a finished upper level and basement.
Not all home renovations are equal, however. This rehabbed bungalow in Hermosa dials it up a couple of notches with higher grade kitchen appliances and finishes. And with five bedrooms and three full bathrooms, there’s plenty of space for a growing family.
Chicago bungalows can also be big and mighty, as this 2,500-square-foot Irving Park home illustrates. A spacious backyard and two-car garage adds to this home's weight. Complete with tasteful updates, this home has been improved with a new electrical system, new windows, and a custom master suite.