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South Buffalo's "bungalow belt"

After reading our recent note on a modest but pretty bungalow going for a half-million dollars in Sacramento, reader Jean Emery sends us this article from Buffalo Rising on that town's own "bungalow belt." Read the complete article on their site. There are plenty of good photos as well, and Jean notes that she "can guarantee these don't cost half a million dollars like the one in Sacramento!"

One of Buffalo's most charming neighborhoods is centered on a cluster of streets running off Abbott between Lakewood and Hubbell on the South Side. The streets stand out from their surroundings as they are lined with distinctive bungalow style houses. The bungalow, sometimes referred to as craftsman style, was popular in the early 20th century. It is a derivation of an Indian house type with rustic detailing and broad porches. Common features include low rooflines on a gabled or hipped roof, deeply overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, and decorative brackets. The front porch is often formed by extending the main roof out past the front wall.

The craftsman style of design became popular as people started yearning for a simpler time. The 20th century was a period of major change. Rapidly developing technology and a shift to urban living brought new wealth and convenience along with a sometimes stressful and unfamiliar way of life to many people. Design, with an emphasis on hand craft and natural materials, was a way to capture the nostalgia of a simpler America. The Roycrofters in nearby East Aurora, led by Elbert Hubbard, were leaders in this movement. Even the work of Frank Lloyd Wright could be included as a part of this movement (if peripherally so). His Connection to Darwin Martin and subsequent commissions in Buffalo came through Hubbard.