One of our favorite bungalow plan books is Little Bungalows published in 1922 by E. W. Stillwell & Co. Because it's just a plan book and not kit homes, many of the plans are unique. And because Stillwell was located in Los Angeles, it has the cachet of the California bungalow.
E. W. Stillwell & Company began business as an architectural firm in about 1905 when a young, freshly-minted University of South Dakota graduate set up shop in Los Angeles. Elmer Wendell Stillwell was born in South Dakota in 1882 and by 1900 was pursuing his studies in Mitchell, SD. He graduated in 1904, but returned to South Dakota in 1908 to marry his college classmate, Ethel Brooks Richardson. (She was a published poet.)
Stillwell was notable not only for his architectural practice, but for his success in publishing and distributing small plan books. Quick to spot the bungalow trend, Stillwell published one of his first books in 1909 called Beautiful Bungalows. From 1909 to 1930, his company published more than two dozen plan books focusing at first on bungalows, but proving his adaptability during the 1920s with collections of Colonial Revival and Romantic styles. He advertised widely in many of the national publications of the day including House Beautiful. (A typical ad from a 1914 House Beautiful is shown above.) According to the US Census, Stillwell was a practicing architect until at least 1930.
E. W. Stillwell died Feb. 28, 1958 in Santa Barbara, CA.
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