Tudor Bungalows in the Twin Cities—Little Houses With a Big Sense of Humor

A grey-green Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Tudor bungalow with curved half timbering. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Can a house have a sense of humor? Charm, yes, of course. But a sense of humor? Houses are houses. They’re serviceable. They’re meant to be lived in. Some are works of art even. But can a house make you smile?

I never gave it thought until I visited Minneapolis-St. Paul last month and was treated to row upon row and neighborhood upon neighborhood of Tudor bungalows.

There were hundreds of these houses, thousands maybe, all built before World War II, yet each was unique. This one had a single square of brick inlaid over an upper story window like a beauty mark. That one had a chimney right next to the front door. Another had curvy half-timbering and herringbone brick work. Many had sandstone embellishments running up the chimneys. All had a sense of fun.

A quiet neighborhood in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A whole neighborhood of Tudor bungalows in the Twin Cities. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A grey-green Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Herringbone brick work flanks the door. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A grey-green Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall A grey-green Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Rustic touches — flower boxes, stone steps. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A grey-green Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall     A grey-green Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Bold stone work and tapered facade. Photo by Barbara Newhall

A grey-green Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall     A grey-green Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Curved roof line and tapered chimney. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The alley behinda street full of tidy looking Tudors, so that access to garages is from this ally, leaving the street view of the neighborhood free of driveways and massive garage doors. Photo by Barbara Newhall

In this walkable neighborhood of Tudor bungalows, you access your garage from an alley like this one, leaving the street view free of driveways and massive garage doors. Photo by Barbara Newhall

tudor roof with round arch above the window in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Blue-green stucco overlaid with tan. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Brick work on the chimney of  a Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Detailed stone work on a chimney. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The stucco has fallen away from the chimney on a Tudor bungalow in Minneapolis, revealing the brick work underneath. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The stucco had fallen away from this chimney, revealing the brick work underneath. Photo by Barbara Newhall

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Comments

  1. Great set of photos. I am drinvig from Washington State to Newport Beach later this summer via 395. The main purpose is to see as much of the history of the Aqueduct as possible. I have a number of days available to poke around the area. Are there any other do not miss places to see the project?

  2. I love these quirky houses! Thanks for the photos.

  3. Love these pics! Reminds me a bit of the Oak Park neighborhood of Chicago, especially with the alleyway access to the houses…fun to look at how creative the builders were!

    • Really. That’s what I keep thinking — how much creativity went into those facades. The masons must have had a blast putting them together. . . We had an alley behind our house in Detroit. It wasn’t kept as clean as the ones I saw in Minnesota. It was used strictly for picking up the garbage — and a lot of garbage was always lying around. Fun for us kids. We’d go garbage picking — which our moms didn’t like much.

  4. Cool story. I didn’t realize you were paying so much attention to Twin Cities architectura when you visited!

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