I don’t think I’ve talked much about our art glass windows. If you’ve read my blog for a while or have seen it on Houseblogs.net, you know my banner used to look like this:
Nowadays I’ve taken a more subtle approach in the banner and just use a few elements from the windows, but there it showed the entire design of the upper sash in our living room window bay.
I’ve always thought our windows are pretty damn cool with that Martini glass/prairie grass motif. (Or as my mother likes to say, Manhattan glass, because of the “red cherry” in the bottom of the glass — you can tell what she likes to drink.) Martinis on the prairie —
there’s just about nothing else more perfect for me!
Another feature of these windows are the use of mirrors in some spots. In the bottom photo, the triangle and the square in the corner are both made of gold mirrors, or Angel Gilding, as it’s called.
I read somewhere — it may have been in the book The Chicago Bungalow that approximately 30 percent of all Chicago-style bungalows were built using art glass. The rest used plain glass (but usually partitioned) in the double-hung windows, like Andy’s over at Building a Better Bungalow.
On our block, I think four of the 6 bungalows have art glass. I don’t know what the deciding factor was for a builder to include art glass, although I’m sure it increased the price of the house. Bungalows both big and small could have art glass windows, however I believe that it was more common to see art glass windows in the curved-front (bay or octagon) bungalows than in those with a flat front. The flat-front bungalows were generally more modestly-priced houses located in predominantly working-class neighborhoods.
Morton Grove was predominantly working and middle class too, but for whatever reason most of the bungalows in our neighborhood were the bay style.
A couple of the slightly-smaller bungalows on our block have art glass windows whereas one of the larger bungalows across the street does not, so size seemingly didn’t matter.
I’ve always wondered how many art glass styles were available when the bungalows were built. Was there a catalog? I haven’t come across any information about it, even on the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association’s website.
I didn’t think that our style was unique, but I also hadn’t seen any that came close to it. Many of them are more subtle and geometric.
Then one day I noticed a link to my site from someone’s Flickr account — a bungalow owner in nearby Niles has the same design as ours (hi Rene)! Hers is slightly different and has clear textured glass around the edges where ours is yellow-and-clear textured.
I’m curious to know how many others have our design, but I’d also like to see others’ windows, so if you’re a Chicago-style bungalow owner reading this, please send a photo to owners [at] bungalowchronicles [dot] com and I’ll post it here.