snowy Midwest and East Coast with the convenience of public transportation readily at hand. In San Diego, many of these new residents had come to see the Panama California Exposition in the newly named and transformed Balboa Park, which opened January 1, 1915. They arrived by train to a sunny, warm, and spacious Southern California, scented with orange blossoms and alight with flowering plants everywhere. It isn’t hard to understand why many of these folks stayed and made San Diego their new home.
It is widely held that the first bungalow court appeared in 1909 in Pasadena, the brainchild of Sylvanus Marston. It was eleven full-sized bungalows in a court arrangement with pergola and native boulder entry gates. As the Bungalow movement gathered momentum, so did the construction of courts. The original courts tended to have relatively large units with spacious communal grounds, but as time went on they began to be built in many sizes and configurations.
Bungalow courts in Southern California come in many architectural styles. The most common is Spanish, but there are many Craftsman courts, as well. In San Diego, we have examples of Egyptian, Mission Revival, Pueblo, Moorish Revival, Deco/Moderne, and 1950s modern. Some of the courts are quite narrow with very tiny units. There are many half courts, which consist of just one row of bungalows, some with as few as two units. There were also duplex and triplex cottage units, with shared walls.
The fascination with Southern California was expressed in the trend for outdoor living, which also helped popularize the Bungalow Court. There was a sense that in this benign climate, one would spend much time out of doors.
There was a revolution going on in the world of horticulture during this period as well, with many heretofore unheard of plants arriving from Australia, South America, Hawaii, and Africa. These plants could not be grown in most of the country as they required a climate with little or no frost, and Southern California’s climate was ideal for them. Thus the area became known as a lush paradise, and the courts were
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