“The house gulped in a big breath of fresh air, like some frantic drowning thing breaking the water’s surface and gasping for life. It had sat unopened for so long, suffocating in the silence, it’s memories blanketed by a thick layer of dust.”
― Rachel Autumn Deering, Husk
Chicago is known the world over for its architecture. The soaring skyscrapers of downtown, the luxurious palaces of meat-packing barons, and the gracious Prairie-style homes of the elite and 80,000 Bungalows throughout the residential areas of the city. I was born in Chicago and raised from the age of 5 in Evanston, IL. where my parents remained until I was married. Part of who I am involved sitting in the back seat of my parent’s car looking out the windows at the ‘city of neighborhoods’ and the architecture along the outer drive leading to Michigan Avenue and beyond. It was not until I began to write Main Street that the experience of those countless images informed how I see and champion Main Street Rocky Mount: the abundance of beautiful commercial and residential architecture that abides here.
THE BUNGALOW: You may be fortunate to live in one of the Foursquare homes scattered throughout Rocky Mount. Foursquare bungalows are but one example of the most popular styles of houses in America. Despite their basic, simple cube design, they offer a large variety of appearances, and their form can be seen from coast to coast, from plain to fancy. It has been said that they are the quintessential home of the period. They are a squat, solid, rectangular, one-and-a-half story homes built between 1910 and 1940. The bungalow was the darling of the American Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized skilled craftsmanship and a connection with nature. “The whole idea behind the bungalow implies an informal setting, as compared to the Victorian mansion,” says historian Dominic Pacyga.
In 2000, Chicago launched The Historic Bungalow Initiative to preserve and adapt these cornerstones of residential Chicago. The Initiative is unique in America recognizing the homes as stylistically important, but also provides incentives for improvement and modernization. The Initiative is a comprehensive marketing, education and financing program launched to celebrate the architectural and historical importance and ensure the viability of the Chicago bungalow’s contribution to families, neighborhoods and the nation’s architecture. The initiative is a joint endeavor of the City of Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association.
WE NEED A ROCKY MOUNT BUNGALOW ASSOCIATION
I am including a few examples of Bungalow Architecture I have snatched from here and there, (articles, Pinterest) to remind you of your drive-by experience – – seeing them everywhere you go in Rocky Mount. FOLLOW Main Street so you don’t miss Part 2.