Bungalows exhibit enters its closing months, we came across a design for a bungalow real estate office. Represented in entrepreneur Henry L. Wilson's The Bungalow Book: A Short Sketch of the Evolution of the Bungalow from its Primitive Crudeness to its Present State of Artistic Beauty and Cozy Convenience (Chicago, 1910), the real estate office building adhered to a 22x24 footprint. Wilson anticipated that the five-room wooden batten structure would cost $500. Wilson, who touted himself "The Bungalow Man," suggested that such an office would yield financial rewards by banishing "all feelings of distrust and uncertainty from the mind of an investor."(1)
New Orleans had its own "Bungalow Man" in general contractor William R. Gilbert (born c. 1884 Iowa), who acquired considerable property on Audubon, Birch, Broadway, Green, Jeannette, Peniston and Pine Streets.(2) From his office at 15 Audubon Boulevard, Gilbert constructed thirty bungalows in 1914 alone. He built to suit, and sold the frame residences furnished or unfurnished.(3) Chicago's Northwestern Expanded Metal Company used his bungalows to promote its metal lath.
In 1915, Gilbert donated a small bungalow to the Charity Hospital International Fair (CHIF) for its grandiose fundraiser at Heinemann Park, held October 3-10th.(4) He was also responsible for the bungalows on the 1500 block of Audubon Street. In the late 19-teens, he relocated his sales office to the Hennen Building and began advertising in the Spanish-language publication Mercurio.
(1)Henry L. Wilson, The Bungalow Book. p. 114.
(2)"Gilbert Buys More Land." The Times-Picayune 27 May 1914; Flo Field. "Chapter II. First of Everything House." The Times-Picayune 18 May 1915. Before moving to New Orleans, Gilbert built bungalows in Memphis, Tennessee. He returned to Memphis after World War I.
(3)"1512 Audubon Street." Advertisement. The Times-Picayune 10 May 1914.
(4)"Children Rally with Enthusiasm to Cause of Chif." The Times-Picayune 23 September 1915. Conceived as an international fair and based on a world map, architect Allison Owen designed the event. "Chairman Newman Declares Chif Is Certain of Success." The Times-Picayune 16 September 1915.
Images above: Henry L. Wilson. The Bungalow Book: A Short Sketch of the Evolution of the Bungalow from its Primitive Crudeness to its Present State of Artistic Beauty and Cozy Convenience. Chicago: 1910, p. 114. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.