Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Place to hang

That's what a front porch is. Two flats often have them and it isn't so uncommon to find people sitting on their steps on a nice evening watching life go by.

Of course, we'd love to put a 2-level wood wrap around porch on our building. This is what I believe was originally there. But there's this thing called money, and we're not made of it.

So we took off the aluminum awning, which was most definitely not period and added a cloth awning, which we like much better. Cloth awnings go way back. It's perhaps not the "ultimate" solution, but it's also not something that muddles the building too badly and we like it, which is what matters.

Perhaps someday we will do something different with our front porch, after many other things are done. And in the interest of that, I started looking at the different types of porches on two-flats. There's quite alot of variety, wood, stone, and brick. Some look better than others.

But one should bear in mind that the two-flat is often of humble origins. There are grander ones, but there are many that are just average and were most definitely built for the working middle class.

Here you see what looks to be an original overhang or at least close to what may have been there.

This one looks to be either rebuilt or new and is nicely done.

Some two-flats are lucky enough to have a permanent porch made of stone. Proper maintenance and this will last another 100 years.

This one is also new and very nicely done. I especially like the way it wraps the building, which ties it in better architecturally to me.

Something like this would be great for our building.

Metal awnings often replaced wood after they fell apart. I would suspect these went on in the 1950s. I don't usually like them.

All brick porches are out there too and can be kind of heavy on the brick, but they last.

I like this one quite a bit with the yellow brick.

And some two-flats don't have porches at all.

The house voyeur in me lives still it seems.


sparky said...

yes, an excellent choice on the canvas? awning. very tasteful

and.....i'll bet you two could come up with making a carriage style door/window shutters for the garage

and boy, do those 2-flats remind me of d.c.

Patricia in Jackson said...

I love all of these! Even the one with the metal awning doesn't seem so bad but I guess compared to the others it isn't so hot.

My favorite though is the 4th picture down with the rounded turret and angled porch. It's really pretty and doesn't overpower the house. It also looks like the roof of the porch creates a verandah of sorts for the 2nd floor. Very cool.

MadeInRogersPark said...

I may have the original blue print to the carriage doors that used to be on my garage doors. We replaced them years age - not practical but I just came across your blog and found it to be very interesting.
As the resident and owner of a Chicago Two-flat purchased from the original owner 20+ years ago please remember soemthing
if you really want to preserve the styles you must be very careful about what you change even in the bathrooms
After years of should we or shouldn't we - we didn't and the fixtures in the bathrooms remain the same
If you would ever like to get a view you can leave a message on the blog

Your photos are great!
I wish I had a map so I could also have a personal up close look at some of the pics you have taken

Go fo it!


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merideth said...

wow...very cool examples. a porch or a front stoop to hang out is such a must for us...we've been found many an evening sitting and standing around ours with various neighbors and various beers...your awning is a lovely way to tide you over though no?

Eric Rojas said...

This is a nice blog and I check in for neighborhood tips. That said, I like the 7th one down. Great color and strong looking front terrace.

There may be a bit less light in the unit, but I'll take the useable outdoor space every time.

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