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California Bungalows of the Twenties [Paperback]

Henry L. Wilson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.75
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Book Description

March 24 1993 Dover Architecture
Reprint of rare catalog includes front or front-angled elevations, floor plans and interior sketches for dozens of authentic bungalow designs, many unique to the California landscape. Detailed descriptions point out special features and possibilities of each design, and include estimates of costs. 231 black-and-white illustrations.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars California Bungalows of the Twenties Oct. 1 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have been thinking of redoing my present home that is only 12 years old..after opening this book, it was like a step back in time, to homes that always had that warm feeling of welcome. It has sparked a number of ideals for some changes inside and out...Two other books that I found helpful are:

"Outside the Bungalow" for gardening
"Inside the Bungalow" for decorating
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great price, nice plans March 27 2001
Format:Paperback
California Bungalows of the Twenties is one of a series of reproductions published by Dover, of house plans. These books are actually exact reprints of original plan books from the turn of the century (1880-1925, roughly). Dover adds little or no modern explanations, just presenting the catalog as it was. So when one looks to review these books, one isn't really judging the modern-day publisher, or editing, or writing. The only modern element is the accuracy of reproduction- in some cases, if pages in the originals that Dover found are damaged or torn, that page is reproduced in the original with the tear, smudge, blot, or hole showing. So to judge the books, one has to compare each one to others of its kind, and then to decide whether the material in it is thorough and complete according to the standards of its time. Since there are several dozen of these catalogs published by Dover, we have the basis for such a comparison.
"California Bungalows" was originally titles "Wilson's California Bungalow." The book starts with a description of what all stock plans include, how much it costs to get duplicates, etc. There's not much about the philosophy of the architect, as in some books. (For example, Radford's Artistic Bungalows says quite a lot about how they went to great lengths to hire architects experienced in the design of small-and-medium sized houses, and about how costs can or cannot be estimated in advance, and so on. This book doesn't have that.) On the other hand, with each individual house, there is description of some of the features of the house, ones that wouldn't necessarily be visible right away, such as that a mantel is made of brick, or the dining room built-in buffet has glass doors and a plate mirror. That's a nice touch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Historic Resource May 17 2000
Format:Paperback
This is a reprint of a 1920's bungalow catalogue. This slim (120 page) volume contains plans for some seventy houses. Most examples contain an exterior phot or perspective rendering and a floor plan. Some examples contain interior views. There is also a section on interior components such as dors, hardware, buitl-ins. This part would be a good resource for the person interested in an authentic restoration of a bungalow. I found the floor plans to be the most valuable part of this book, since most current books on bungalows do not contain plans. It is not a great single-source book, howver for the low price it is an excellent complimentrary resource.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Historic Resource May 17 2000
By Edward J. Shannon, AIA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a reprint of a 1920's bungalow catalogue. This slim (120 page) volume contains plans for some seventy houses. Most examples contain an exterior phot or perspective rendering and a floor plan. Some examples contain interior views. There is also a section on interior components such as dors, hardware, buitl-ins. This part would be a good resource for the person interested in an authentic restoration of a bungalow. I found the floor plans to be the most valuable part of this book, since most current books on bungalows do not contain plans. It is not a great single-source book, howver for the low price it is an excellent complimentrary resource.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great price, nice plans March 27 2001
By R. Kelly Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
California Bungalows of the Twenties is one of a series of reproductions published by Dover, of house plans. These books are actually exact reprints of original plan books from the turn of the century (1880-1925, roughly). Dover adds little or no modern explanations, just presenting the catalog as it was. So when one looks to review these books, one isn't really judging the modern-day publisher, or editing, or writing. The only modern element is the accuracy of reproduction- in some cases, if pages in the originals that Dover found are damaged or torn, that page is reproduced in the original with the tear, smudge, blot, or hole showing. So to judge the books, one has to compare each one to others of its kind, and then to decide whether the material in it is thorough and complete according to the standards of its time. Since there are several dozen of these catalogs published by Dover, we have the basis for such a comparison.
"California Bungalows" was originally titles "Wilson's California Bungalow." The book starts with a description of what all stock plans include, how much it costs to get duplicates, etc. There's not much about the philosophy of the architect, as in some books. (For example, Radford's Artistic Bungalows says quite a lot about how they went to great lengths to hire architects experienced in the design of small-and-medium sized houses, and about how costs can or cannot be estimated in advance, and so on. This book doesn't have that.) On the other hand, with each individual house, there is description of some of the features of the house, ones that wouldn't necessarily be visible right away, such as that a mantel is made of brick, or the dining room built-in buffet has glass doors and a plate mirror. That's a nice touch. Each description has an estimate of what it would cost to build the house.
The illustrations of each house vary widely - some are photos of finished houses, some are detailed drawings/paintings, and some are just sketches/line drawings. So one doesn't get the same level of information about the appearance of every house. Some of the illustrations are face-on, meaning we see only the front of the house, and can only imagine the sides from the floor plans. On the other hand, for many of the houses, a second illustration is included, of at least one room of the interior. Fully-furnished living rooms are shown; or an illustration of a "typical bathroom" showing what types of fixtures are expected; there's a full-page illustration of "Wilson's Buffet Kitchen" with cut-away view of the cabinets, and complete with a maid in an apron working at the stove. There are several pages showing what styles of dining room buffets, or sideboards, are available, and a section showing doors and locksets you can actually order.
Almost all the floor plans are large and readable, although a few are quite cluttered; with every closet described as broom closet or linen closet, the lettering outstretches the space available. There's also a disconcerting habit, at least to my modern eyes, of referring to the inside chimney as a "thimble" - maybe that was a contemporary usage, but I can't recall seeing it in any other catalog.
In sum: good plans, lots of details on interiors, good ideas on how such houses were furnished; poorer aspect is that some houses are presented only with a sketch. Overall, a good book, one that can give a beginner a good introduction to plan books and to the lifestyles of the period. And the price is great for what you get.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars California Bungalows of the Twenties Oct. 1 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have been thinking of redoing my present home that is only 12 years old..after opening this book, it was like a step back in time, to homes that always had that warm feeling of welcome. It has sparked a number of ideals for some changes inside and out...Two other books that I found helpful are:

"Outside the Bungalow" for gardening
"Inside the Bungalow" for decorating
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Formatting Bungle by Dover Oct. 23 2013
By Paul D. Myrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with Dover's other Kindle publication "Sears House Designs of the Thirties", this book was published for Kindle with absolutely no formatting for electronic publication. The images are very low resolution and the floor plans are unreadable -- even with magnification. Very poor quality for Kindle.
4.0 out of 5 stars For bungalow fans April 3 2014
By Judith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought three bungalow plan reprint books from amazon. This one is in the middle of the scale for me. The plans in this one are not as good as those in The Bungalow Book, but there is more variety in this one than there is in West Coast Bungalows. There is a drawing or picture of the exterior of each house and a plan. Some of the pictures are photos, some are drawings. This book has a few multi-family plans. It also has a handful of plans with strange, little bedrooms they call boudoirs. These are actually beds in a closet. I'm not talking about fold down Murphy beds. These boudoirs are tiny rooms just big enough to hold a mattress with enough room at one side for a person to stand--no closets or room for any furniture. Some are for double beds, but both sleepers would have to crawl in from the same side, because there are walls on three sides of the bed. There is even one where the sleepers have to crawl onto the bed from the bottom side of the bed. Very strange. Aren't we glad this idea didn't catch on?
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