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Historic Berwyn Bungalows and More Tour set for Sept. 29

BERWYN – Santa Fe may have its pink adobes, and New York, its brownstones. But, when you’re in Berwyn, its all about bungalows.

The 7th annual Bungalows and More Tour will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 29.
 Sponsored by the Berwyn Historical Society, a range of bungalows and vintage homes will be featured along and near Berwyn’s “Gold Coast” on Riverside Drive.

Other tour stops include a student-led tour of Piper Elementary School, the stained glass windows of Trinity Community Church and a stroll in Mraz Park.

A highlight of the tour will be a visit to the Dvorak House on Riverside Drive, designed by architect Charles Vedra in 1928 and featured in the summer 2007 issue of American Bungalow.

For those who want to work in a healthy workout, participants may walk, bike, or drive from one tour house to the next.

Docents will share the history of each house on the tour and point out special or unique features the house may have.

The tour also provides an opportunity to gain ideas and insight for restoring and maintaining a vintage home.

While the bungalow may be a Berwyn icon, its particular design is known as the Chicago-style bungalow, Berwyn Historical Society chairman David Olson said.

“They came from Chicago out to the suburbs in the ‘20s and ‘30s.” he said. “They were built as affordable homes for working class people largely. Quality construction, mostly brick with hardwood floors, often embellished with limestone trim on the exterior.”

But the origin of the bungalow is even far more exotic.

“The bungalow comes from India,” Olson said. “House of the Bengal Style. Basically, all of the living spaces are centered on one floor. There have been many versions of that in America.”

The homes are just as interesting inside as they are out, too.

“Some of the bungalows on the tour are very traditionally finished and others are very modern and contemporary in appearance,” Olson said.

Berwyn was recently named Best Neighborhood for Bungalows by This Old House magazine, and boasts one of the largest concentrations of Chicago-style bungalow homes in the nation.

Advance tickets for the house tour are available for $20 per person. Tickets may be purchased online at, or at the following local retailers: Berwyn Ace Hardware, 6316 Ogden Avenue; James & Williams Jewelers, 7020 West Cermak Road; Overthe Rainbow, 6836 Windsor Avenue; and Green Home Experts, 811 South Boulevard,Oak Park. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour for $25 at the Berwyn Historical Society headquarters, 1401 Grove, Berwyn.

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