Are Twin Cities bungalow homes an endangered species?

A beloved American house style faces new challenges — urban development and a generation of buyers with an HGTV-honed aesthetic. 

Tim Counts’ modest Minneapolis bungalow looks much like it did in 1926, the year it was built.

Over the quarter-century he’s owned the house, he’s refinished the wood floors, added porch lighting and invested in maintenance and repairs.

But the original oak buffet, bookcases and trim are still a deep rich brown, not the enameled white preferred by many of today’s homeowners. And the cozy kitchen still boasts its original cabinets, a vintage breakfast nook with built-in benches and table, and a retractable ironing board.

“They’re increasingly rare these days,” he said of his bungalow-era kitchen. “Even people who like the aesthetic of the oak woodwork consider kitchens and bathrooms disposable.”

Counts is longtime president of the Twin Cities Bungalow Club, which promotes appreciation of the classic houses, and encourages preservation of their original elements.

That message is a harder sell than it once was.

“With HGTV, there’s this whole mind-set that it’s not only my right, it’s my obligation to rip out what’s here and do my thing,” he said.

3824 Grand South After

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"Are Twin Cities bungalow homes an endangered species?"; by Kim Palmer; Star Tribune; June 15, 2019

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