Friday, November 19, 2010

Front Porches



Guest Blogger: The Husband

With Ashley traveling for work, she asked me if I would keep Smitten fresh with a guest post.
I wanted to focus on one of my favorite features of a house, the front porch. I think one of the travesties of the 20th century was the elimination of front porches in post-war ranch houses. As houses became cookie cutter in the 50’s and 60’s, functionality was valued over aesthetics.



In the 80’s and 90’s the middle class moved to the suburbs and the proliferation of suburban McMansions put an emphasis on back porches and privacy fences.



Gone are the days of friendly conversations with passerbys and a post-dinner sweet tea in the summertime. With the disappearance of front porches, America lost a piece of its identity as a social society. It’s not a coincidence that your grandparents lament about the good ol’ days when kids could play in the neighborhood without fear of strangers. Part of that fear of the unknown is fueled because we don’t know our neighbors. They are sitting in the back porch with a hedge separating our houses.



Alright, enough of the social commentary. So what kind of person are you? Are you a front porch or back porch neighbor?

12 comments:

jo said...

i love cortese front yard parties.

jo said...

i love cortese front yard parties.

Merissa said...

Wow, this reminds me of a discussion of front porches vs. back porches in architecture school. I'm so glad that others notice how much this phenomenon has changed society! Luckily I live on a friendly block in Chicago, where it's common to hang out on the sidewalk with beer and a game of bags during the summer. Lovely post!

Teri Andrea said...

i'm thinking "tuesdays with tony".

Cori Sanders said...

I had never thought about how much not having front porches changed our society! so interesting and it makes so much sense. i am all for the front porch. lets bring it back.

Design Elements said...

i like the black & white photograph.

happy Friday!

Olivia said...

Tony, great historical analysis of porches! I'm making brunch reservations for the 3 of us Sunday. Ash will have the details

Angela Vaughn said...

I am a front porch type of gal. I love waving at my neighbors and having afternoon chit chat. However my hubby is a back porch type of guy.

Kathleen said...

Interesting post. I have a front porch and I have a back porch. I've never sat out on the front porch even though there is seating. I use the back porch all the time. Guess I'm too much of an introvert.

K. A. Mallard said...

One of the reasons I fell in love with my current home is that it has a huge wrap-around porch on the front. I think this is a tradition we need to bring back in the U.S.

Mrs. French said...

we have a front porch. Can't imagine ever not having one.

way to be a great husband!

lisaroyhandbags said...

great post! I suppose I'm a back porch person since we've never had a front porch and putting chairs out on the front lawn seems a little uncomfortable to me. :)