This is a style of apartment that was very popular in the 1920s, and it’s easy to find examples in Portland’s inner neighborhoods. We call this type of multifamily building a bungalow type apartment. It’s a close relative of the bungalow court, which we’ve profiled in other posts. These buildings give residents many of the most attractive features of single family homes – a front door facing the street, a back door, at least two window walls (three for end units), and in some instances, even a private basement.
These really only work on corner lots, since their orientation places the doors along the long side of the building. Of course, you could do this on a mid block site, it would just be a lot less appealing. Additionally, the 150 lineal feet of curb allows room for about six cars to park (this particular case study building actually has a single car garage!). Bungalow four-plexes like this are often highlighted as exemplars of missing middle, but it’s worth asking whether or not this typology is something today’s builders would create, given the choice. We’ve found precisely one modern example of this type. Far more prevalent are three story townhouses with garages occupying most of the ground floor.