Over the years the popularity of a having a front porch, or any porch at all has risen and fallen in the United States. 100 years ago, few houses were built without them. This was for a lot of reasons. One of them being the lack of air conditioning necessitated a “civilized” outdoor area to cool off, out of doors and out of the sun, but still close enough to the comforts of home. Many wrap-around porches ended at a door to the dining room with an area large enough to hold the table, making it easy for the meal to move from the dining room to the porch. The porch was also a transitional area, a half-way point between the outdoors and the indoors. Umbrellas could be closed without getting your head wet or splashing water around the foyer. Strangers could be met in relative comfort, while putting the homeowner at ease. Passers-by could be greeted, or you could just sit and read a good book or take a nap. The decline of the porch started in the 30s and the porch all but disappeared by the late 50s. Porches were so unpopular that many of them were removed in the 60s. The fact that porches can be difficult and costly to maintain because of their exposure to the environment is often cited as the reason for their removal. The Macnish’s at Andrew’s Legacy were no exception to that trend, the front porch of the house was removed in the late 60s and the faced was altered to the then popular colonial revival look. But our front porch experiences a revival as well, and when we were doing the renovation for the Bed and Breakfast we decided to put the porch back on. Following the original blueprints of the house and old pictures, the porch was restored to its original specifications, with a notable alteration, we decided to make it wrap around. And we are very glad we did restore it. Not only did it significantly alter the look of the house in a positive and dramatic way, but we found we love it as a great place to entertain, hang-out and relax. Guests love the porch, they can sit in the rockers at the front and watch the world go by while enjoy breakfast or coffee, relax in the wicker chairs on the side, or take a nap in the hammock on the other side. We have had great fun with friends who drop by for impromptu wine and cheese parties on the porch, and it was the hub of our ice cream social and garden tours. The relaxation and leisure of the porch also inspires romance as it’s a place where more than few marriage proposals have taken place. So come out to Andrew’s legacy and experience life on our porch.
Here is a compilation of an picture of the house in around 1930, showing the facade with the porch, just as it looked at that time. The second picture is a computer rendering of what the house would look like with a wrap around porch based on the same design. The third picture is a “during” shot of what the porch looked like during construction , and the final shot is what it looks like finished.
Here is a montage of the porch during construction.
Nothing says relax, like huge Boston ferns hanging on the porch in moss-lined wire baskets.
A guest enjoys a good book in the wicker furniture in the shade of the porch.
Guests rock and relax in the rockers on the porch.
The porch, all decked out for fourth of July.
The hammock, waiting for a good nap.
The porch, decorated for an ice cream social we held a few years ago.
Another area of the porch during the ice cream social.