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On front porches

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by sirvaliantbrown, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Some of this is overwrought, and some of it I disagree with. But it's about the value and meaning of the front porch, and I found it interesting.

    http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/?p=707
     
  2. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    Very interesting.

    As someone who grew up in houses with front porches and now notices the complete lack of them in newer suburban neighborhoods, it is true that neighborhoods don't seem as close.

    Then again, even in the old neighborhoods with older houses that have front porches, do people sit on them any more?

    The last house I grew up in and moved out of before my parents eventually sold it had a front porch, but no one really ever sat out on it.
     
  3. HorseWhipped

    HorseWhipped Guest

    We all used to sit on the front porch at Grandma's house, little rural town, and just watch the cars go by.

    Wave to the people if we knew them, wave maybe if we didn't. The main thing was that we would just sit there with our loved ones and pretend that we were watching the world go by, waving at the traffic on that little road to nowhere, but the real point was that we were so happy just to sit there with our loved ones of three and four generations, see what we would talk about before we had to wave again.

    Special times, and they are all gone now.

    I would give anything to be back in that little dirt town, sitting on the porch, waving at cars while waiting to see who stops by next, or just waiting to hear what Grandma or Pops or anyone else wants to talk about next.

    Those days were unconditional love at its finest.
     
  4. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Porches are coming back architecturally, at least at many of the new houses being built in my 'hood. People like porches and are asking for them in the blueprints. So some good news.
     
  5. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    When I go back to my hometown to visit my best friend in her "established" neighborhood, we sit on he front porch for hours and drink sweet tea. And for her neighborhood, that's par for the course. Everyone knows each other and they look out for one another (and pets that go missing).

    So yes, in some places, they are still used.
     
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    The one thing I insisted on when we built this house was a front porch. Length of the house. Eight feet wide. Love it but I don't sit on it as much as I used to.
     
  7. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Or, it could just be that porches add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of a new house.

    My little neighborhood had plenty of patios and few porches, and yet we had a pretty good community. I think it had more to do with a lot of people with kids of similar age going to the same school than porches.
     
  8. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    The big, old house I grew up in had a big, square, concrete porch with half-brick walls. Man, we roller skated on it, when we were tiny, skates with metal wheels that you put on over your shoes and adjusted with a key. And I spent much of my adolescence in a lawn chair, feet hiked up on the wall reading.
    We had a little picnic table and my neighbor and I spent countless hours playing Monopoly. We played so much, it was like speed Monopoly.. knew all the prices and never really talked, just zoomed through a game, hotels and all, in 30 minutes or so. We were doing that one day when we had an earthquake. Little one. Didn't feel it. But we ended up stopping the game and staring at each other because nature had gone completely silent. We found out when the news came on that it was because of the quake, which are very rare in that part of Ohio.
    We cooked out on the porch, too. I can remember my grampa had a little rotisserie thing that he would cook drummettes in.
    And then after, we'd sit on the steps. Dad put the ice cream maker on the big, flat piece of concrete just below the steps and we'd crank it and crank it, sticking our fingers in the hole that allowed the melting ice to escape and lick the salty water. We'd top that with the homemade ice cream.
    I would kill to have a porch again.
     
  9. JR

    JR Active Member

    The better article on the subject--which doesn't degenerate into conservative hokum--is the Richard Thomas piece that's linked in the second paragraph. The growth of the post-war suburb was partially a result of people's desire to achieve privacy, something the front porch didn't provide, either in larger urban centres or smaller rural communities.

    Porches haven't been part of North American domestic architecture in at least sixty or seventy years, and going back even further to the emergence of the distinctive American school of architecture with people like Wright or Sullivan.

    Now developers thrown them on to the front of houses now in an attempt to tap into some sort of faux nostalgia
     
  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    lol the guy who wrote that article also has a 4,000-word screed on that site about the decline of the use of ... the fork?
     
  11. Our house has a wrap around front porch with a porch swing... That swing is my favorite piece of furniture.
    I love sitting outside in it, sucking down iced tea, gently swinging on it.
    Had a priest a few years ago who relayed something he was told about the decline of neighborhoods being due the invention of air conditioning.
    Before AC, people had to sit outside, because it was usually much hotter in the house. So they would be outside, walking or sitting... this encouraged socialization. Now, instead of being out in high 80-degree weather, dealing with bugs and what not, we can sit in our climate controlled comfort zone.
    I can see some logic in the thinking.
     
  12. JR

    JR Active Member

    He does? I couldn't find it .

    Or are you being a smartass? :)
     
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