Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 635's good read


While we're on the subject of old and new neighborhoods and houses, let's talk about this article by Richard Thomas, found today on gus & other things. It talks about the shift from a style of homes with prominent front porches to that which we see more often today, where the primary outdoor space is in a more private location on the back of the house. Of course, there were social and economic reasons for the change, which Thomas is much more adept at describing than I.

I took a class my senior year at Auburn called Landscape and Culture, which discussed the impact cultural issues (war, famine, prosperity, etc.) have on art and architecture. I found it so fascinating that I almost changing my life's plan and applied to a Master's program on historic preservation at Savannah College of Art & Design.

Instead, I came to Birmingham and bought a house with a front porch that seems like a totally gratuitous move just to keep me out of the rain while walking from my car to the front door. I would love a nice, deep front porch, of course, complete with a swing for sittin' and lemonade for sippin.' How about you? Are you a front porch kind of gal (or guy), or do you prefer the privacy of a back patio or deck?

14 comments:

Calis said...

I'm a HUGE fan of the front porch. I like to people watch too much to be in the back yard. :o)

Robyn said...

Well, we have both... a nice front porch and a courtyard to hide behind!

abigail said...

Thanks so much for mentioning my blog!
I wish we had a front porch big enough for a swing, but we spend most of our time on our back deck.

sometimes on warm summer nights we sit out on the stoop with a glass of wine to chat with passing neighbors and enjoy our front yard.

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

I would love front porch. I don't have one in this home, but I would love a wrap around porch. Dream home!

Kim said...

Someone tore off the porch in our home's 90-some year history.

It makes me incredibly sad. I hope one day to reincarnate a deep front porch with a swing.

But, I have to say that I also love having a deck on back. But, we are so close to our neighbors that we still chat with them over the deck.

John said...

I love this discussion. We're in the process of making our front porch more functional, but it'll still be tough to switch from people who relish in the sanctuary of our backyard sunroom to people who wave from the front porch. Good find, Jennifer!

-John
www.thisyounghouse.com

lgsm said...

Love porches, I grew up with on and miss it dearly now. A back deck just isn't the same. However, that front porch was in the country, so no neighbors to avoid either. When we build a new home, it will have a porch. Is it sad that I already know how I will decorate it?

Haley said...

One of the criteria we had when buying our house was that it had to have a front porch. We spend most of our "at home" time from April to October out there. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, magazine reading, relaxing, people-watching, and saying hello to our neighbors. Front porches and sidewalks are requirements for us.

Jenny said...

We have a front porch, but haven't ever gotten furniture for it! We spend most of our time in the back yard, but this photo just makes me want to go out and get some rockers or a swing and read a book on the front porch. :)

Lauren said...

I feel antisocial for saying this but I love backyard patios...I love to eat outside and we really love our privacy. I would love to have both but if I could only have one it would have to be the back yard. Great post!! Xoxo

JMW said...

I would love a front porch. We currently have large screened-in porch on the back of our house, which we love. But, there's something about a big front porch with rocking chairs that I find so charming. BTW, love your blog!

Blondie said...

There is nothing better than a front porch with these great rocking chairs!

layersofmeaning said...

I'm a new homeowner...
I'm lucky to have both a front porch and a back patio! We are planning on adding a deck later this summer, right now we've decided to have a swing on our front porch (How Southern!)
ps. I made a post about it on my blog today...

Jennifer said...

love hearing what you all think!