May 23, 2019
Home Architecture & Design Craftsman celebrated: Preservation Austin salutes the city's bungalows

Craftsman celebrated: Preservation Austin salutes the city’s bungalows

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Austin’s beloved bungalows are the feature of this year’s Preservation Austin annual historic homes tour.

“The Art of the Craftsman Style,” on April 27, features seven Craftsman-style homes spread out in several central Austin neighborhoods.

Tickets are available at preservationaustin.org/events.

With its look at the residual influence of Arts and Crafts Movement’s in Austin, the tour is presented in coordination with the Harry Ransom Center current exhibition “The Rise of Everyday Design: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America” on view through July 11.

Though informally, the terms “craftsman” and “Arts and Crafts” are often used interchangeably, specifically the Arts and Crafts movement originated in England in the 1840s, first with the ideas of John Ruskin, and later through work of designer William Morris. Fundamentally, the Arts and Crafts movement believed in the rejection of industrialism, the embrace of simple forms and the celebration simple but refined aesthetics.

When the ideas of Arts and Crafts movement moved across the Atlantic, the terms American Craftsman or Craftsman emerged to mean an architectural and design language that, when expressed in domestic architecture, essentially meant simple forms — a rejection of ornate Victorian style. Instead, symmetry, repetition and reiteration of forms and patterns prevailed. Common Craftsman elements are low-pitched roof lines with deeply overhanging eaves and decorative braces, along with gabled or hipped roofs.

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Such simple and efficient design ideas translated well to America’s burgeoning middle class in the early 1900s, and the one-story Craftsman influenced house quickly became popular for middle and modest income homeowners.

And as homes on the tour prove, it was an influence that lasted decades. Take a look at some tour’s house which date from 1912 to 1936.

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