What Happened to the Front Porch?

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with William Raveis Real Estate

Has anyone else noticed that the traditional front porch has all but disappeared from today's house plans?  There was a time (way before my time), especially during the 18th and 19th centuries where front porches were ubiquitous across our land.  They served a purpose for socialization. But, after World War II, with the availability of television and air conditioning, most people retreated to their houses or their back decks or patios for more privacy.  In effect, Facebook is today's front porch and those hold-outs who build them today may do be showing neighbors what they'd be doing...if they had the time to do it. Read the full story at:

Why the Front Porch Disappeared

Bill Primavera is a Realtor (www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com) in New York representing all of beautiful Westchester and Putnam Counties above Manhattan. He also is a marketing practitioner (www.PrimaveraPR.com) specializing in the lifestyles arena, and writes a syndicated column called “The Home Guru” which deals with all aspects of the housing market, design, decorating and landscaping. He can reached directly at 914-522-2076.

 

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Rainmaker
425,419
Eric Crane -- Your Full Service, Discount Fee Realtor®
DPR Realty LLC - Gilbert, AZ
Greater Metro Phoenix Arizona

Hi, Bill -- this is an interesting post.  I am originally from New York State but have long resided in Arizona.  In my hometown of Queen Creek, AZ (which is a south eastern suburb in the Phoenix metro), front porches are encouraged by the community building guidelines and are a common sight in most subdivisions.

It does promote a sense of community, as in the old days, as people walk through the neighborhoods and visit with people who are out on the porch.  In my own neighborhood I think it was one of the factors that led people to have block parties and to make strong friendships with neighbors.  Have a great Labor Day Holiday.

Sep 03, 2011 02:23 PM #1
Rainmaker
382,953
Morris Massre
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Pembroke Pines, FL
Realtor Broward County Florida

I sure do miss it.  I'm in South Florida and almost nobody has one.  I think it adds character.

Sep 03, 2011 02:34 PM #2
Rainmaker
51,805
Bill Primavera
William Raveis Real Estate - Yorktown Heights, NY

Hi, Eric,

It is so refreshing to know that some communities encourage the inclusion of front porches in house design. Interesting, I received a letter from a gentleman who is the historian of a toney community near me in Westchester who said that the building department in that town would not allow the addition of front porches to existing houses.  One of his assignments was to find photographs of old houses that might have shown that a front porch previously existed on certain old home, and those owners were allowed to build a new one, since it was grandfathered in. While my historic home no longer has a front porch, I do have photographs from the late 19th century that show one existed at that time. So...I guess I've covered.

Best wishes to you too during the holiday weekend.

Best,

Bill

Sep 03, 2011 02:34 PM #3
Rainmaker
51,805
Bill Primavera
William Raveis Real Estate - Yorktown Heights, NY

Hi, Morris, I understand that the town of Seaside (is that the name of it?), a planned community, proscribed front porches on all its dwellings?

Best,

Bill

Sep 03, 2011 02:35 PM #4
Rainmaker
421,736
Jean Hanley
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters - Hemet, CA
Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes

Well funny you should ask.......I miss having a front porch, as well.  In fact, since I don't have one, but live on a huge corner lot, with an 80' by 30' driveway, I have moved my patio area to the driveway.  All our neighbors walk their dogs in the evenings, and we have made it a very social corner.  Love it.

Sep 03, 2011 02:43 PM #5
Rainer
117,005
Melissa Ostrom & Melville Capps Newton MA - The Mel and Mel Team
(617) 388-3151 | Century 21 Commonwealth - Newton, MA

I grew up in Nashville, TN, and porches were common. There often was a front porch and a back porch. The front porch was open and had to have a rocking chair or two and a swinging couch. The back porch would be screened in to keep out the insects. I spent many hours out on the porches watching the world go by and drinking iced tea (sweet tea for those who know).

Melville

 

Sep 03, 2011 03:41 PM #6
Rainmaker
434,968
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Hi Bill-I grew up in The Bronx and we too had a front stoop-we usually played some kind of ball game on it and always got to see what was going on in the street.  I hope Carol gets to really enjoy hers.

Sep 03, 2011 05:02 PM #7
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