A Project of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art
History of Early American Landscape Design

Difference between revisions of "Porch"

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==History==
 
==History==
[[File:0320.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 1, [[William Russell Birch]], "York-Island with a View of the Seats of Mr. A. Gracie, Mr. Church &c.," 1808.]]
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[[File:0320.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 1, William Russell Birch, “York-Island, with a '''View''' of the [[Seat]]s of M.<sup>r</sup> A. Gracie, M.<sup>r</sup> Church &c.,” in ''The Country [[Seat]]s of the United States of North America'' (1808), pl. 17.]]
Several words were used synonymously to describe covered walks or spaces supported by [[column]]s or piers and attached to, or to part of, a building. This architectural feature spoke to the interrelatedness of architecture and gardens, a relationship that grew out of the romantic interest in landscape characterizing the aesthetics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  
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[[File:0916.jpg|thumb|Fig. 2, Anonymous, “Bracketed [[Veranda]] from the inside,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850), 122, fig. 45.]]
[[File:0916.jpg|thumb|Fig. 2, Anonymous, "Bracketed Veranda from the inside", 1850.]]
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Porch is one of several words (including [[piazza]], [[portico]], and [[veranda]]) used to describe covered [[walk]]s or spaces supported by [[column]]s or piers and attached to, or to part of, a building. This architectural feature spoke to the interrelatedness of architecture and gardens, a relationship that grew out of the romantic interest in landscape characterizing the aesthetics of the 18th and 19th centuries. Two images exemplify the importance of these structures in creating and framing views of the garden and landscape. The first is a drawing of York Island, Long Island, by William Russell Birch (1808), who explained that the [[view]] was taken from the [[piazza]], a place from which one could see “innumerable [[seat]]s, spreading over an extensive country which glittered as the sun arose” [Fig. 1].<ref>William Russell Birch, ''The Country Seats of the United States of North America: With Some Scenes Connected with Them'' (Springland, PA: W. Birch, 1808), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/BAIMV4GZ view on Zotero].</ref> The second is from [[Andrew Jackson Downing|A. J. Downing's]] book on wooden [[picturesque]] houses, ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850) [Fig. 2]. Both illustrate views from the bracketed [[piazza]], or [[veranda]], as [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] preferred to call it, out to the distant [[prospect]]. Two points are important in the history of these terms: First, these architectural elements served to elide the boundaries of the garden and building by linking interior and exterior space both visually and physically. Second, the associative values of refinement and domesticity, and even national progress, were read into the forms.
Two images exemplify the importance of the [[piazza]], [[veranda]], porch, and [[portico]] in creating and framing views of the garden and landscape. The first is a drawing of [[York Island]], Long Island, by [[William Russell Birch]] (1808), who explained that the [[view]] was taken from the [[piazza]], a place from which one could see "innumerable [[seat]]s, spreading over an extensive country which glittered as the sun arose" [Fig. 1].<ref>William Russell Birch, ''The Country Seats of the United States of North America: With Some Scenes Connected with Them'' (Springland, Pa.: W. Birch, 1808), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/BAIMV4GZ view on Zotero].</ref> The second is from [[A. J. Downing]]'s book on wooden [[picturesque]] houses, ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850) [Fig. 2]. Both illustrated views from the bracketed [[piazza]], or [[veranda]], as [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] preferred to call it, out to the distant [[prospect]].
 
  
Various treatises used all of these terms interchangeably in their definitions. [[Alexander Jackson Davis]] and [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] also used the term 'umbrage' to refer to the same feature on a house, implying a place of shade.<ref> William Pierson, Jr., traces the origins of the feature, specifically found in [[Alexander Jackson Davis]] and [[A. J. Downing|A. J. Downing]]'s work, to the awning or canopy partaking of an oriental flavor. In general, its origin was a semi-enclosed outdoor space that was not at all architectural but was related to the ornamental canopy or tent. This connection might explain why the detail flourished during the high romantic period in American architecture. See Pierson, ''American Buildings and Their Architects: Technology and the Picturesque, the Corporate and the Early Gothic Styles'', vol. 2 (New York: Doubleday, 1978), 300-304, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/J8FITVZG/q/Pierson| view on Zotero.]</ref> [[Mary Elizabeth Latrobe]] mentioned that in New Orleans the [[piazza]] was known as the gallery.<ref name="Latrobe_1951"> Benjamin Henry Latrobe. ''Impressions Respecting New Orleans: Diaries and Sketches, 1818–1820'', ed. Samuel Wilson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/MJS5EE69/q/latrobe view on Zotero]. </ref> Contrasting usage of these words sometimes could offer distinctions. Rev. Manasseh Cutler, for example, in his description of [[Monticello]], said that the term "[[portico]]" refers to smaller entrance porches and the term "[[piazza]]" to extended covered walkways stretching perpendicularly from the [[portico]]s. For the purposes of this essay, each of the four key terms will be described in turn, highlighting any specific meanings that have been attributed to them.
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Treatises often used these terms interchangeably, along with a few other less common words that were more or less synonymous. [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] and [[Alexander Jackson Davis]] used the term “umbrage” to refer to the same feature on a house, implying a place of shade;<ref> William Pierson Jr. traces the origins of the feature, specifically found in Alexander Jackson Davis and A. J. Downing’s work, to the awning or canopy partaking of an oriental flavor. In general, its origin was a semi-enclosed outdoor space that was not at all architectural but was related to the ornamental canopy or tent. This connection might explain why the detail flourished during the high romantic period in American architecture. See Pierson, ''American Buildings and Their Architects: Technology and the Picturesque, the Corporate and the Early Gothic Styles'', vol. 2 (New York: Doubleday, 1978), 300–4, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/J8FITVZG/q/Pierson| view on Zotero].</ref> Downing used the term “[[pavilion]]” synonymously with “[[veranda]]<ref>Alexander Jackson Downing, ''The Architecture of Country Houses; Including Designs for Cottages, Farm-Houses, and Villas'' (New York: D. Appleton, 1850; repr. New York: Da Capo, 1968), 357, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/GRZPQXQI view on Zotero].</ref>; and Mary Elizabeth Latrobe mentioned that in New Orleans the [[piazza]] was also known as the gallery. Contrasting usage sometimes reveals distinctions. In his plan for a country house, Downing also used the term “porch” to identify the central area of the [[veranda]] leading to the entryway. The 19th-century architect William H. Ranlett <span id="Ranlett_cite"></span>sometimes distinguished between [[piazza]] and [[veranda]], using “[[piazza]]” for a [[walk]] over which a projecting roof might be added, and [[veranda]]” for a structure that included a roof ([[#Ranlett|view text]]). Two points are important in the history of these terms: First, these architectural elements served to elide the boundaries of the garden and building by linking interior and exterior space both visually and physically. Second, the associative values of refinement and domesticity, and even national progress, were read into the forms.  
[[File:1732.jpg|thumb|Fig. 3, [[Batty Langley|Batty]] and [[Thomas Langley]], "Four Examples of Arcades for Piazza's", 1747.]]
 
In 1828, [[Frances Milton Trollope]], the acerbic critic of American art and architecture, described the [[piazza]] as a "luxury almost universal in the country houses of America." Indeed it was a feature found throughout the colonies and dates from the late eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. From Massachusetts to the lower Mississippi Valley, examples are found on both private and public buildings. The feature was adapted to various styles with appropriate detailing and ornamentation. The [[piazza]] was a projecting porch or connecting passage that was identifiable in neoclassical [[plantation]] houses in the South, as well as in the Gothic revival suburban cottages of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. There were countless variations ranging from the simple wooden post-and-lintel type, to stone-[[arch]]ed [[piazza]]s depicted by [[Batty Langley]] [Fig. 3] and mentioned in 1839 at [[Laurel Hill Cemetery]] in Philadelphia.
 
[[File:0549.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 4, Victor de Grailly, ''View of Mount Vernon'', c. 1840-50.]]
 
[[File:0597.jpg|thumb|Fig. 5, William Strickland, "Sketch of the Principal Story of the [United States] Naval Asylum", 1826. Seven piazzas are marked on all the fa&ccedil;ades]]
 
In texts and images related to American gardens of the period under study, although several imported treatises traced "[[piazza]]" back to covered walkways that surrounded the [[square]], the term has not been associated with the Italian term for a medieval or renaissance [[square]]. It was generally described as two related but somewhat distinctive appendages to buildings. First, the [[piazza]] was attached porch-like to a fa&ccedil;ade so that three sides of the [[piazza]] projected out from the building [Fig. 4], or the sides were recessed into the structure, as on the main fa&ccedil;ade of the U.S. Naval Asylum in Philadelphia [Fig. 5]. At other times it appeared on more than one fa&ccedil;ade [Fig. 6]. In New Orleans one house was described as having [[piazza]]s on all four sides. Both one- and two-story [[piazza]]s were also built. Second, "[[piazza]]" also referred to a covered walkway embedded between two buildings and acting as a connecting link. A single- or even double-height [[piazza]], such as that described in 1799 on a property in Richmond, Va., provided either an entrance or transition space from interior architecture to exterior space. In the case of the University of Virginia, [[piazza]]s linked the entire range of houses around the lawn, and they served as transitional spaces leading to the lawn [Fig. 7].
 
[[File:0233.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 6, Charles Fraser, ''Another View of Brabants, on French Quarter Creek, [[Seat]] of the Late Bishop Smith'', 1800.]]
 
[[File:0505.jpg|thumb|Fig. 7, Anonymous (artist), Benjamin Tanner, (engraver), ''University of Virginia'', 1826. Seven piazzas are marked on all the fa&ccedil;ades]]
 
The [[piazza]]'s basic structure consisted of a roof supported by pillars or [[column]]s. A [[piazza]] might be walled on each side with Venetian blinds or, as Harriet Martineau described one in 1835, "draperied with vines." Flooring was stone, flag, wooden planks, or gravel. The roof was generally either flat or peaked. James E. Teschemacher (1835), however, described and illustrated a [[piazza]] with a concave roof formed of painted floor cloth fastened on wooden rafters, which were supported by wooden [[arch]]es. Several images depict the piazza at ground level opening directly out into the landscape. Some examples, however, describe broad and spacious flights of stairs leading from the piazza and 'descending into the garden.' At [[Thomas Jefferson|Thomas Jefferson's]] [[Monticello]] (Charlottesville) and [[Poplar Forest]] (Bedford County, Va.), the [[piazza]]s had no immediate access to the ground but instead were raised, balcony-like structures overlooking the garden. Even if not a physical link, the visual connection to the exterior remained critical to the function of this feature.  
 
  
The nineteenth-century architect <span id="Ranlett_cite"></span> [[William H. Ranlett]], who used them often in his residential design, praised [[piazza]]s for their "very expressive" purpose. ([[#Ranlett|view text]]) They functioned as sitting areas that were furnished with couches, chairs, and sometimes tables where one could take a meal. They were used to provide a place for walking or sitting and enjoying the breeze, shade and coolness; they also served to keep the sun from warming the interior of the house. Since the feature was designed to provide [[view]]s in addition to protection from the sun, orientation of the piazza had to be planned with regard to the sun and surrounding environment. At [[Hyde Park]], a visitor in 1830 mentioned that one [[piazza]] was open to the Hudson River and the other looked over a beautiful [[lawn]], suggesting that the [[view]] dictated where the [[piazza]]s might be located.
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[[File:0322.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 3, William Russell Birch, “China Retreat Pennsyl.<sup>a</sup> the Seat of M.<sup>r</sup> Manigault,” 1808, in William Russell Birch and Emily Cooperman, ''The Country Seats of the United States'' (2009), 79, pl. 19.]]
[[File:0350.jpg|thumb|Fig. 8, [[Alexander Jackson Davis]], "View in the Grounds at Blithewood", 1849.]]
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The term “porch” was defined in the 1828 dictionary entry by <span id="Webster_cite"></span> [[Noah Webster]] as referring to a roofed architectural element often supported by [[column]]s or piers, either attached to a building or existing as an independent garden structure ([[#Webster|view text]]). During the colonial and early Republic periods three kinds of porches were evident throughout America. First, the porch was either an open or enclosed projecting roofed area of a building that sheltered a doorway or entrance [Fig. 3]. Since most gardens were situated next to the house, a porch was often a point of access from the house to the ornamental grounds. Eliza Caroline Burgwin Clitherall (active 1801) depicted such a porch at the Hermitage in Wilmington, North Carolina. [<span id="Fig_5_cite"></span>[[#Fig_5|See Fig. 5]]].
[[William H. Ranlett|Ranlett]] was emphatic when he decreed that a "dwelling should always have one or more of them [[piazza|[piazzas]]]." He regarded the absence of a [[piazza]] on a new house an indication of ignorance, niggardliness, and narrow- minded views. Downing (1850) went so far as to proclaim the lack of a [[piazza]] or [[veranda]] in any but the most utilitarian structure as "unphilosophical and false in taste!" He claimed that it was a resting place, lounging spot, and place of social resort of the whole family across nearly the entire extent of the United States [Fig. 8].  
 
  
Appearing only in the mid-nineteenth century in treatise literature with any frequency, the term "[[veranda]]" (also spelled [[veranda|verandah]]) was used in 1748 in [[Pehr Kalm]]'s ''Travels in North America'', in which he described small balconies or porches on houses.<ref>Kalm, ''The America of 1750: Peter Kalm's Travels in North America'', trans. and rev. Adolph B. Benson (New York: Wilson-Erickson, 1937), 121. In his study of the veranda, Anthony D. King wrote, "It is generally accepted that the term '[[veranda|verandah]],' as used in England and France, and later in the British colonial world, came into the English landscape from India, the origins being either Persian, or, more likely Spanish or Portuguese." See King, ''The Bungalow: The Production of a Global Culture'', 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 266.</ref> Many visual and textual examples indicate that [[veranda]] served as an intermediary space between a house and its garden. [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] described it as an overhanging or low roof supported by an open colonnade or framework. He recommended that it have a gravel or wooden surface rising six to eight inches above the surrounding ground. Climbing plants often covered [[veranda]]s. Some writers refer to arbor-[[veranda]]s and also mention the latticework that provided screening and support for climbing plants. Ornamental brackets and bargeboards also added to the decorations of the [[veranda]].  
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[[File:1768.jpg|thumb|Fig. 4, Anonymous, “Principal Floor” of a Symmetrical Stone Farm House, in [[A. J. Downing]], ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850), pl. opp. 145, fig. 59.]]
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The second meaning of the term referred to a covered sitting and viewing area that was either attached to the building or was free-standing. In describing the use of porches as “decorative marks to the entrances of scenes” (akin to those of a theater proscenium),<span id="Loudon_cite"></span> [[J. C. Loudon]] was referring to their use as embellished shelters over benches or seats placed in the garden ([[#Loudon|view text]]). <span id="Downing1_cite"></span> [[A. J. Downing|Downing’s]] illustration of the rustic porch at [[Montgomery Place]], on the Hudson River in Dutchess County, New York, suggests that, in addition to punctuating or shaping garden scenery, as [[J. C. Loudon|Loudon]] recommended, porches, if appropriately placed and decorated, could function as seats and pavilions did, directing the viewer’s attention to a offered a way to [[view]] or [[prospect]] [<span id="Fig_7_cite"></span>[[#Fig_7|See Fig. 7]]].<ref>Alexander Jackson Downing, “A Visit to Montgomery Place,''Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste'' 2, no. 4 (October 1847): 156, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/XUWRREQS view on Zotero].</ref> Its function also allowed those seated to observe the landscape in all kinds of weather, as described in 1749 by Pehr Kalm. [[A. J. Downing|Downing’s]] porches make clear the function of the porch as a mediator between interior and exterior realms. He praised porches that were covered with vegetation for easing the transition from outside to inside, and for providing evidence of the cultivated domesticity within the home [Fig. 4].
  
The term was, as mentioned, often used interchangeably with "porch," "[[portico]]," and "[[piazza]]." [[William H. Ranlett|Ranlett]] sometimes distinguished between the two, using "[[piazza]]" for a projecting roof and "[[veranda]]" for an overhanging roof. [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] used the term "porch" to identify that part of the [[veranda]] where steps led from the ground to the entryway. He also used the term [["pavilion"]] synonymously with "[[veranda]]".  
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The third kind of porch is described by [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] as the carriage porch, or ''porte cochère'', where in a grand home the arriving guests drew up under an architectural canopy for shelter. John Notman similarly inscribed the term ''porte cochère'' on his unexecuted design for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC [<span id="Fig_6_cite"></span>[[#Fig_6|See Fig. 6]]]. He includes porches for the side entrances and [[piazza]]s for galleries running along the façades.  
  
[[A. J. Downing|Downing]] (1850) expounded at length on the meaning of the [[veranda]], which he saw as a truly American feature not found in European architecture.<ref> This, of course, was not true because the veranda was featured in both John Plaw, ''Sketches for Country Houses, Villas and Rural Dwellings'' (London: S. Gosnell for J. Taylor, 1800), and J. B. Papworth, ''Penny Cyclopaedia'' (London: J. Taylor, 1818), as pointed out by King, ''The Bungalow'', 266-67. </ref> Always concerned with identifying a national style, he believed that the [[veranda]], in addition to providing shade and transitional zone from house to garden, was not simply ornamental but useful and "connected with the life of the owner of the cottage." Its presence expressed the ownership of a family exhibiting rural taste and a love of [[picturesque|[picturesque]]] character, a family "at home in the country."
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''Therese O’Malley''
[[File:0955.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 9, [[Alexander Jackson Davis]], "View N.W. at Blithewood", c. 1841.]]
 
Although the [[veranda]] was an architectural feature found in the colonial and early national periods, it became a key component of asymmetrical [[picturesque]] design for both landscape and architecture in the 1840s.<ref>Vincent J. Scully, ''The Shingle Style and the Stick Style: Architectural Theory and Design from Downing to the Origins of Wright'' (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1971), introduction.</ref> Many illustrations for house pattern books by [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] and his followers depicted plans and elevations in various romantic styles that feature the [[veranda]] as an element in a new spatial organization that experimented with the interweaving of interior and exterior space. In his ''Treatise'' (1849) [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] wrote, "architectural beauty must be considered conjointly with the beauty of the landscape or situation," and "if properly designed and constructed . . . will even serve to impress a character on the surrounding landscape."<ref> [[A. J. Downing]], ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'' (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1849), 370. </ref> That the frontispiece to his ''Treatise'' illustrated the veranda at [[Blithewood]] underscores the importance of this theoretical stance. Another drawing of [[Blithewood]] [Fig. 9] by [[Alexander Jackson Davis]] presented, from the house and through the semi-enclosed space of the [[veranda]], the view of the landscape toward the river, exemplifying the interpenetration of space that became for [[Alexander Jackson Davis|Davis]] and [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] an important characteristic of their architecture. Architectural historians have written about the [[veranda]] as a major component in [[picturesque]] architecture and a mark of distinction between American and English houses of the Gothic revival.<ref> William H. Pierson, Jr., ''American Buildings and Their Architects: Technology and the Picturesque, the Corporate and the Early Gothic Styles'' (New York: Doubleday, 1978), 302-4. See also King, ''The Bungalow'', 267, where the author writes that "[a]n architectural note of the term, [[veranda|verandah]]," emphasized that "it was common as a fashionable architectural feature in England during the early nineteenth century," and does not recognize an American distinctiveness.</ref>
 
[[File:0322.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 10, [[William Russell Birch]], "China Retreat Pennsyla the Seat of Mr Manigault", 1808.]]
 
[[File:0182.jpg|thumb|Fig. 11, Caroline Elizabeth Burgwin Clitherall, attr., ''The Hermitage'', c. 1805.]]
 
The term "porch," as the 1828 dictionary entry by <span id="Webster_cite"></span> [[Noah Webster]] indicates, refers to a roofed architectural element often supported by [[column]]s or piers, either attached to a building or existing as an independent garden structure ([[#Webster|view text]]). During the colonial and early Republic periods three kinds of porches were evident throughout America. First, the porch was either an open or enclosed projecting roofed area of a building that sheltered a doorway or entrance [Fig. 10]. Since most gardens were situated next to the house, a porch was often a point of access from the house to the ornamental grounds. Eliza Caroline Burgwin Clitherall (active 1801) depicted such a porch at the Hermitage in Wilmington, N.C. [Fig. 11].
 
[[File:0358.jpg|thumb|Fig. 12, Anonymous, Rustic [[Seat]] at Montgomery Place, 1847.]]
 
[[File:1768.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 13, Anonymous, "Principal Floor" of a Symmetrical Stone Farm House, 1850.]]
 
The second meaning of the term referred to a covered sitting and viewing area that was either attached to the building or was free-standing. In describing the use of porches as "decorative marks to the entrances of scenes" (akin to those of a theater proscenium),<span id="Loudon_cite"></span> [[J. C. Loudon]] was referring to their use as embellished shelters over benches or seats placed in the garden ([[#Loudon|view text]]). <span id="Downing1_cite"></span> [[A. J. Downing|Downing's]] description of the rustic porch at [[Montgomery Place]], on the Hudson River in Dutchess County, N.Y., argues that in addition to punctuating or shaping garden scenery, as [[J. C. Loudon|Loudon]] recommended, porches, if appropriately placed and decorated, offered a way to situate a [[seat]] in the landscape thereby directing a [[view]] or [[prospect]] ([[#Downing1|view text]]) [Fig. 12]. Its function also allowed those seated to observe the landscape in all kinds of weather, as described in 1749 by Pehr Kalm. [[A. J. Downing|Downing's]] porches make clear the function of the porch as a mediator between interior and exterior realms. He praised porches that were covered with vegetation for easing the transition from outside to inside, and for providing evidence of the cultivated domesticity within the home [Fig. 13].
 
[[File:1254.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 14, John Notam, "No. 1 Ground Plan, Smithsonian Institute", December 23, 1846.]]
 
[[File:0551.jpg|thumb|Fig. 15, John Lewis Krimmel, ''Fourth of July in Centre Square'', 1812.]]
 
The third kind of porch is described by [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] as the carriage porch, or ''porte coch&egrave;re'', where in a grand home the arriving guests drew up under an architectural canopy for shelter. [[John Notman]] similarly inscribed the term ''porte coch&egrave;re'' on his unexecuted design for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. [Fig. 14]. He includes porches for the side entrances and [[piazza]]s for galleries running along the fa&ccedil;ades.
 
  
The term "[[portico]]" was also used when referring to a covered space that was supported by [[column]]s or piers and was attached to a building. Semantic distinctions were made, however, using "[[portico]]" to identify the principal entrances to the house and "[[piazza]]" for the extended side porches. The higher status of the [[portico]], as opposed to [[piazza]], [[veranda]], or porch, was emphasized by its frequent modification by adjectives such as "handsome," "noble," and "elegant" [Fig. 15]. The word "[[portico]]" seems not to have been used to refer to covered walkways that linked separate buildings, as is made clear in the distinction in 1777 regarding the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.
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<hr>
[[File:0646.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 16, Anonymous, ''[[Montpelier]]'', 1835.]]
 
Margaret Bayard Smith in 1828 said the [[portico]] at President [[James Madison|James Madison's]] plantation, [[Montpelier]], commanded a [[view]], "a beautiful scene," of extensive [[lawn]]s and forests, where viewers walked through the [[portico]] until twilight when the landscape was no longer visible [Fig. 16]. [[John Mason]] recalled the [[portico]] at George Mason's Gunston Hall, near Mason Neck, Va., from which "you descended directly into an extensive garden." [[A. J. Downing|Downing's]] 1849 comments conveyed a similar meaning, suggesting that the [[portico]] served to connect the building, visually and also physically, "by gradual transition with the ground about it."
 
[[File:0580.jpg|thumb|Fig. 17, Lewis Miller, "[[Mount Vernon]]" [detail], c. 1835. Miller noted on his drawing that "A lofty [[portico]] ... has a pleasing effect when viewed from the water."]]
 
The [[portico]] served as a focal, as well as a viewing, point. [[Lewis Miller]], for example, in 1849 wrote that at [[Mount Vernon]] the "lofty [[portico]] . . . has a pleasing effect when viewed from the water" [Fig. 17]. Often the [[portico]] was distinguished from the building it ornamented by its material, creating a distant focus for the spectator from the garden or surrounding landscape. A brick building was sometimes ornamented with a contrasting white stone or painted wood [[portico]]. As [[David Bailie Warden]] noted in 1816, such a feature made a house "admirably adapted to the American climate."
 
[[File:1735.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 18, [[Batty Langley|Batty]] and [[Thomas Langley]], "Gothick [sic] Portico", 1747.]]
 
[[File:0990.jpg|thumb|Fig. 19, [[Thomas Birch]], ''Southeast View of Sedgeley Park'', c. 1819]]
 
[[Portico]]s generally were dressed in a classical style, meaning that classical [[column]]s supported the low-pitched roof and the front was finished with an entablature and pediment. Many descriptions specified Doric (e.g., [[Centre Square]] in Philadelphia), Tuscan (e.g., the [[Woodlands]] near Philadelphia), or Corinthian (e.g., Ranlett's design for a house in Italian bracketed style). Two notable exceptions to the classical style, however, are well known. William Buckland's fanciful octagonal porch at [[Gunston Hall]] (1755-58) had ogee [[arch]]es and is thought to have been inspired by the writings of [[Batty Langley]], who promoted Gothic and chinoiserie details for architectural decoration [Fig. 18]. [[Benjamin Henry Latrobe|Benjamin Henry Latrobe's]] Gothic design for [[Sedgeley]], near Philadelphia (1799) [Fig. 19], which is considered one of the earliest Gothic revival houses in America, had tall slender posts supporting the roof.
 
  
Thus, two points are important in the history of these terms: First, these architectural elements served to elide the boundaries of the garden and building by linking interior and exterior space both visually and physically. Second, the associative values of refinement and domesticity, and even national progress, were read into the forms.  
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==Texts==
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===Usage===
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*House of Burgesses, 1701, describing the Capitol, Williamsburg, VA (quoted in Lounsbury 1994: 286)<ref name="Lounsbury_1994">Carl R. Lounsbury, ed., ''An Illustrated Glossary of Early Southern Architecture and Landscape'' (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/UK5TCUQQ/ view on Zotero].</ref>
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:“[It was ordered that] the '''porches''' of the said Capitol [in Williamsburg] be built circular fifteen foot in breadth from outside to outside, and that they stand upon cedar [[column]]s.
  
--''Therese O'Malley''
 
  
==Texts==
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*Kalm, Pehr, June 21, 1749, describing Albany, NY (1937: 1:341)<ref>Pehr Kalm, ''The America of 1750: Peter Kalm’s Travels in North America. The English Version of 1770'', 2 vols. (New York: Wilson-Erickson, 1937), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/94EZM2V4 view on Zotero].</ref>
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:“The front doors are generally in the middle of the houses, and on both sides are '''porches''' with [[seat]]s, on which during fair weather the people spend almost the whole day, especially on those '''porches''' which are in the shade. . . In the evening the [[veranda]]s are full of people of both sexes.”
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===Usage===
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*Orphans Court, 1795, describing an orphan’s estate in Worcester County, MD (quoted in Lounsbury 1994: 286)<ref name="Lounsbury_1994"></ref>
 +
:“. . . framed dwelling house. . . [with] a [[porch]] or [[piazza]] on the easternmost side of the house about 21 feet long by 7 feet wide plank floor with [[seat]]s.”
  
* House of Burgesses, 1701, describing the Capitol, Williamsburg, Va. (quoted in Lounsbury 1994: 286)<ref name="Lounsbury_1994">Carl R. Lounsbury, ed., ''An Illustrated Glossary of Early Southern Architecture and Landscape'' (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/UK5TCUQQ/ view on Zotero].</ref> 
 
  
: "[It was ordered that] the '''porches'' of the said Capitoll [in Williamsburg] be built circular fifteen foot in breadth from outside to outside, and that they stand upon cedar [[column]]s."
+
<div id="Fig_5"></div>[[File:0182.jpg|thumb|Fig. 5, Eliza Caroline Burgwin Clitherall, ''The [[Hermitage]]'', c. 1805. [[#Fig_5_cite|back up to History]]]]
 +
*Clitherall, Eliza Caroline Burgwin (Caroline Elizabeth Burgwin), active 1801, describing the [[Hermitage]], seat of John Burgwin, Wilmington, NC (quoted in Flowers 1983: 125)<ref>John Flowers, “People and Plants: North Carolina’s Garden History Revisited,” ''Eighteenth Century Life'' 8, no. 2 (January 1983): 117–29, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/FCVW8GHV view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“You have seen the picture representing the [[Hermitage]], Tho’ in appearance it fell far behind Alveston or Ashley [English estates belonging to Burgwin relatives]. . . a large handsomely finish’d room the middle door opening to a '''porch''', leading to the front garden, on either side of this room, were glass doors opening upon the [[Piazza]] to each wing.” [Fig. 5].
  
  
* [[Kalm, Pehr|Kalm, Pehr]], June 21, 1749, describing Albany, N.Y. (1937: 1:341)<ref>Pehr Kalm, ''The America of 1750: Peter Kalm’s Travels in North America. The English Version of 1770''. 2 vols. (New York: Wilson-Erickson, 1937), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/94EZM2V4 view on Zotero.]</ref> 
+
*Anonymous, 1803, describing in ''The Virginia Herald'' a property for rent in Fredericksburg, VA (quoted in Lounsbury 1994: 286)<ref name="Lounsbury_1994"></ref>  
 +
:“. . . commodious close '''porch''' in front, and an open [[portico]] in the rear.
  
: "The front doors are generally in the middle of the houses, and on both sides are '''porches''' with [[seat]]s, on which during fair weather the people spend almost the whole day, especially on those '''porches''' which are in the shade. . . . In the evening the [[veranda]]s are full of people of both sexes."
 
 
  
* Orphans Court, 1795, describing an orphan's estate in Worcester County, Md. (quoted in Lounsbury 1994: 286)<ref name="Lounsbury_1994"></ref>  
+
<div id="Fig_6"></div>[[File:1254.jpg|thumb|Fig. 6, John Notman, “No. 1 Ground Plan, Smithsonian Institute,” December 23, 1846. [[#Fig_6_cite|back up to History]]]]
 +
*Barber, John Warner, and Henry Howe, 1844, describing Mount Holly, NJ (1844: 112)<ref>John Warner Barber and Henry Howe, ''Historical Collections of the State of New Jersey. . . with Geographical Descriptions of Every Township in the State'', (Newark: Benjamin Olds, 1844), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/KBBHZ5NT view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“Some '''porches''' still remain, on the more ancient dwellings, to revive the recollection of the social manners which once prevailed, when neighbors freely and unceremoniously visited from house to house, taking the '''porches''' for their sittings and conversation. They were the delight of the young, for they facilitated visits and acquaintances between the sexes. The moderns scout them, even while they desire their use.”
  
: "framed dwelling house . . . [with] a porch or piazza on the easternmost side of the house about 21 feet long by 7 feet wide plank floor with seats."
 
  
 +
*Notman, John, December 26, 1846, describing his designs for the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (quoted in Greiff 1979: 119)<ref name="Greiff_1979">Constance Greiff, ''John Notman, Architect, 1810–1865'' (Philadelphia: Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 1979), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/SXT2RI6Z view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“No. 5 is the north front; on this is seen the carriage '''porch''' elevation, a structure necessary to comfort in a building of so many purposes.” [Fig. 6]
  
* [[Eliza Caroline Burgwin Clitherall|Clitherall, Eliza Caroline Burgwin]] (Caroline Elizabeth Burgwin), active 1801, describing the [[Hermitage]], [[seat]] of [[John Burgwin]], Wilmington, N.C. (quoted in Flowers 1983: 125) <ref>John Flowers, "People and Plants: North Carolina’s Garden History Revisited," ''Eighteenth Century Life'' 8, no. 2 (January 1983): 117–29, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/FCVW8GHV  view on Zotero.]</ref>
 
  
: "You have seen the picture representing the Hermitage, Tho' in appearance it fell far behind Alveston or Ashley [English estates belonging to Burgwin relatives]. . . . a large handsomely finish'd room the middle door opening to a '''porch''', leading to the front garden, on either side of this room, were glass doors opening upon the [[Piazza]] to each wing."
+
<div id="Fig_7"></div>[[File:0358.jpg|thumb|Fig. 7, Anonymous, “[[Rustic_style|Rustic]] Seat,” [[Montgomery Place]], in [[A. J. Downing]], ed., ''Horticulturist'' 2, no. 4 (October 1847): 157, fig. 26. [[#Fig_7_cite|back up to History]]]]
 +
*<div id="Downing1"></div>[[A. J. Downing|Downing, Andrew Jackson]], October 1847, describing [[Montgomery Place]], country home of Mrs. Edward (Louise) Livingston, Dutchess County, NY (''Horticulturist'' 2: 157)
 +
:“Not long after leaving the rustic [[pavilion]], on descending by one of the paths that diverges to the left, we reach a charming little covered resting place, in the form of a rustic '''porch'''. The roof is prettily thatched with thick green moss. Nestling under a dark canopy of evergreens in the shelter of a rocky fern-covered bank, an hour or two may be whiled away within it, almost unconscious of the passage of time.” [Fig. 7]. [[#Downing1_cite|back up to History]]  
  
  
* Anonymous, 1803, describing in ''The Virginia Herald'' a property for rent in Fredericksburg, Va. (quoted in Lounsbury 1994: 286) <ref name="Lounsbury_1994"></ref>  
+
===Citations===
 +
*Johnson, Samuel, 1755, ''A Dictionary of the English Language'' (1755: 2:n.p.)<ref name="Johnson_1755">Samuel Johnson, ''A Dictionary of the English Language: In Which the Words are Deduced from the Originals and Illustrated in the Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers'', 2 vols. (London: W. Strahan for J. and P. Knapton, 1755), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/GE2JPJR3 view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“'''PORCH'''. n.s. [''porche'', Fr. ''porticus'', Lat.]
 +
<p></p>
 +
:“1. A roof supported by [[pillar]]s before a door; an entrance.
 +
<p></p>
 +
:“2. A [[portico]]; a covered [[walk]].”
  
: "commodious close '''porch''' in front, and an open [[portico]] in the rear."
 
  
 +
[[File:1332.jpg|thumb|Fig. 8, [[J. C. Loudon]], “Porches and [[portico]]es,” in ''An Encyclopædia of Gardening'', 4th ed. (1826), 356, fig. 330.]]
 +
*<div id="Loudon"></div>[[J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon|Loudon, J. C. (John Claudius)]], 1826, ''An Encyclopaedia of Gardening'' (1826: 356)<ref>J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon, ''An Encyclopaedia of Gardening; Comprising the Theory and Practice of Horticulture, Floriculture, Arboriculture, and Landscape-Gardening'', 4th ed. (London: Longman et al., 1826), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/KNKTCA4W view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“1809. '''Porches''' and [[portico]]es. . . are sometimes employed as decorative marks to the entrances of scenes; and sometimes merely as roofs to shelter [[seat]]s or resting benches.” [Fig. 8] [[#Loudon_cite|back up to History]]
  
* [[John Warner Barber|Barber, John Warner]], and [[Henry Howe]], 1844, describing Mount Holly, N.J. (p. 112)<ref>John Warner Barber and Henry Howe, ''Historical Collections of the State of New Jersey; Containing a general collection of the most interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, &c. relating to history and antiquities, with geographical descriptions of every township in the state,'' (Newark: Benjamin Olds, 1844), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/KBBHZ5NT/q/barber| view on Zotero.]</ref>
 
  
: "Some '''porches''' still remain, on the more ancient dwellings, to revive the recollection of the social manners which once prevailed, when neighbors freely and unceremoniously visited from house to house, taking the '''porches''' for their sittings and conversation. They were the delight of the young, for they facilitated visits and acquaintances between the sexes. The moderns scout them, even while they desire their use."
+
*<div id="Webster"></div> [[Noah Webster|Webster, Noah]], 1828, ''An American Dictionary of the English Language'' (1828: 2:n.p.)<ref name="Webster_1828">Noah Webster, ''An American Dictionary of the English Language'', 2 vols. (New York: S. Converse, 1828), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/N7BSU467 view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“'''PORCH''', n. [Fr. ''porche'', from L. ''porticus'', from ''porta'', a gate, entrance or passage, or from ''portus'',a shelter.]
 +
<p></p>
 +
:“1. In architecture, a kind of vestibule supported by [[column]]s at the entrance of [[temple]]s, halls, churches or other buildings. ''Encyc''.
 +
<p></p>
 +
:“2. A [[portico]]; a covered [[walk]].
 +
:[[#Webster_cite|back up to History]]
  
  
* [[John Notman|Notman, John]], December 26, 1846, describing his designs for the [[Smithsonian Institution]], Washington, D.C. (quoted in Greiff 1979: 119)<ref name="Greiff_1979">Constance Greiff, ''John Notman, Architect, 1810-1865'' (Philadelphia: Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 1979), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/SXT2RI6Z view on Zotero.].</ref>  
+
*Watterston, George, May 1844, “Landscape Gardening” (May 1844: 314)<ref>George Watterston, “Landscape Gardening,''Southern Literary Messenger'' 10 (May 1844): 306–15, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/3F6PUXVE view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“The fourth and last requisite in [[Landscape Gardening]] is the buildings. These should be so constructed as to be both attractive and useful objects. . . A Gothic '''porch''' converted into a garden [[seat]], or a window of rich workmanship, partly mantled over with ivy, might possess the merit of being a tasteful as well as a [[picturesque]] object.”
  
: "No. 5 is the north front; on this is seen the carriage '''porch''' elevation, a structure necessary to comfort in a building of so many purposes."
 
  
 +
*[[ Andrew Jackson Downing|Downing, Andrew Jackson]], 1849, ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'' (1849: 322, 375)<ref name="Downing_1849">A. J. Downing, ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening. . . '', 4th ed. (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1849), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5M4S2D64 view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“In all its varieties the Honeysuckle is a charming plant, either to adorn the [[porch]] of the cottage, the latticed bower of the garden—to both of which spots they are especially dedicated—or to climb the stem of the old forest tree. . .
 +
<p></p>
 +
:“A '''Porch''' strengthens or conveys expression of purpose, because, instead of leaving the entrance door bare, as in manufactories and buildings of an inferior description, it serves both as a note of preparation, and an effectual shelter and protection to the entrance. Besides this, it gives a dignity and importance to that entrance, pointing it out to the stranger as the place of approach. A fine country house, without a '''porch''' or covered shelter to the doorway of some description, is therefore as incomplete, to the correct eye, as a well printed book without a title page, leaving the stranger to plunge at once in medias res, without the friendly preparation of a single word of introduction. '''Porches''' are susceptible of every variety of form and decoration, from the embattled and buttressed portal of the Gothic castle, to the latticed [[arbor]] '''porch''' of the cottage, around which the festoons of luxuriant climbing plants cluster, giving an effect not less beautiful than the richly carved capitals of the classic [[portico]].”
  
* <div id="Downing1"></div>[[ A. J. Downing|Downing, A. J.]], October 1847, describing [[Montgomery Place]], country home of Mrs. Edward (Louise) Livingston, Dutchess County, N.Y. (''Horticulturist'' 2: 157)[[#Downing1_cite|back up to history]]
 
  
: "Not long after leaving the rustic [[pavilion]], on descending by one of the paths that diverges to the left, we reach a charming little covered resting place, in the form of a rustic '''porch'''. The roof is prettily thatched with thick green moss. Nestling under a dark canopy of evergreens in the shelter of a rocky fern-covered bank, an hour or two may be whiled away within it, almost unconscious of the passage of time."
+
*[[ Andrew Jackson Downing|Downing, Andrew Jackson]], February 1849, “On the Drapery of Cottages and Gardens” (''Horticulturist'' 3: 354)<ref>A. J. Downing, “On the Drapery of Cottages and Gardens,” ''Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste'' 3, no. 8 (February 1849): 353–59, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/keywords_in_early_american_landscape_design/items/itemKey/KAQ5U27A view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“A '''porch''' of rustic [[trellis]]-work was built over the front door-way, simple and pretty hoods upon brackets over the windows, the door-[[yard]] was all laid out afresh, the worn out apple trees were dug up, a nice bit of [[lawn]] made around the house, and pleasant groups of [[shrubbery]], (mixed with two or three graceful elms,) planted about it. But, most of all, what fixes the attention, is the lovely profusion of flowering vines that enrich the old house; and transform what was a soulless habitation, into a home that captivates all eyes.
  
===Citations===
 
  
* [[Samuel Johnson|Johnson, Samuel]], 1755, ''A Dictionary of the English Language'' (2:n.p.)<ref name="Johnson_1755">Samuel Johnson, Samuel, ''A Dictionary of the English Language: In Which the Words are Deduced from the Originals and Illustrated in the Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers'', 2 vols. (London: W. Strahan for J. and P. Knapton, 1755) [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/GE2JPJR3 view on Zotero.]</ref>
+
[[File:1837.jpg|thumb|Fig. 9, Anonymous, “A Country House in the Pointed Style,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850), pl. opp. 304, figs. 133 and 134.]]
+
*[[ Andrew Jackson Downing|Downing, Andrew Jackson]], 1850, ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850; repr., 1968: 147–48, 308)<ref>A. J. (Andrew Jackson) Downing, ''The Architecture of Country Houses; Including Designs for Cottages, Farm-Houses, and Villas'' (New York: D. Appleton, 1850; repr., New York: Da Capo, 1968), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/GRZPQXQI view on Zotero].</ref>  
[[File:1332.jpg|thumb|Fig. 27, [[J. C. Loudon]], "Porches and Porticoes", 1826.]]
+
:“The open '''porch''', of hewn timber, (either painted of a stone color, to harmonize with the outside walls, or stained and oiled, to show the grain of the wood) is a feature which we think one of the most important to the expression of this dwelling [Design XIII], both as regards beauty and comfort. Its size, and the [[seat]]s on each side of it, point out its use—since it answers the purpose of a [[veranda]], with much less cost. Covered by the grape vine, such a '''porch''' is at once a beautiful and a most agreeable feature to the eye of the passer by. It gives him, at a glance, the key-note to a refinement, quite compatible with a farmer’s life—a refinement not less real than that seen in another class of country houses or ornamental cottages—but simpler and less fanciful in its manifestation. . .
: "'''PORCH'''. n.s. [''porche'', Fr. ''porticus'', Lat.]  
+
<p></p>
 +
:“The '''porch''' of this house [a Country-House in the pointed style], which projects 12 feet, breaks up (see elevation) the otherwise too long horizontal line of the [[veranda]] roof—and the novice will bear in mind, that as the spirit of the Gothic or pointed style lies in the prevalence of vertical or upward lines, so all long, unbroken, horizontal lines of roof should be avoided. [Fig. 9]  
 
<p></p>
 
<p></p>
: "1. A roof supported by [[pillar]]s before a door; an entrance.  
+
:“This '''porch''', being pierced with [[arch]]es on each side, opens on a continuous [[veranda]], 10 feet wide and 80 feet long, which affords a fine [[promenade]] at all seasons—terminating on one side with the [[greenhouse|green-house]]—and there are few greater luxuries in a country-house in an American summer, such as it is in this latitude, than such a cool and airy [[veranda]]—especially if it looks out upon our fine river or lake scenery.*
 
<p></p>
 
<p></p>
: "2. A [[portico]]; a covered [[walk]]."
+
:::“*Any one living on the Hudson inevitably gets to look upon river scenery as an indispensible part of country landscape. This will account for the manner in which glimpses of river scenery creep into so many of these sketches of houses—often, as in this design, on the wrong side of the house.
  
  
* <div id="Loudon"></div>[[J. C. Loudon|Loudon, J. C.]], 1826, ''An Encyclopaedia of Gardening'' (p. 356)<ref>J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon, ''An Encyclopaedia of Gardening; Comprising the Theory and Practice of Horticulture, Floriculture, Arboriculture, and Landscape-Gardening'', 4th edn (London: Longman et al, 1826), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/KNKTCA4W view on Zotero.]</ref>[[#Loudon_cite|back up to history]]  
+
*<div id="Ranlett"></div>Ranlett, William H., 1849, ''The Architect'' (1849; repr., 1976: 1:21)<ref name= "Ranlett_1849">William H. Ranlett, ''The Architect'', 2 vols. (1849–51; repr. New York: Da Capo, 1976), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/QGQPCB5J/ view on Zotero].</ref>
 +
:“[[Veranda]]s, [[piazza]]s and '''porches''' are very expressive of purpose, and a dwelling should always have one or more of them; and balconies, which are decidedly ornamental and not without use.” [[#Ranlett_cite|back up to History]]
  
: "1809. '''Porches''' and [[portico]]es . . . are sometimes employed as decorative marks to the entrances of scenes; and sometimes merely as roofs to shelter seats or resting benches." [Fig. 27]
 
  
 +
<hr>
  
* <div id="Webster"></div> [[Noah Webster|Webster, Noah]], 1828, ''An American Dictionary of the English Language'' (n.p.) <ref name="Webster_1828">Noah Webster, ''An American Dictionary of the English Language'', vol. 1 (New York: S. Converse, 1828), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/N7BSU467 view on Zotero.]</ref>[[#Webster_cite|back up to history]]
+
==Images==
 +
=== Inscribed ===
 +
<gallery widths="170px" heights="170px" perrow="7">
 +
<gallery>
  
: "'''PORCH''', n. [Fr. ''porche'', from L. ''porticus'', from ''porta'', a gate, entrance or passage, or from ''portus'',a shelter.]
+
Image:1332.jpg|[[J. C. Loudon|J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon]], “Porches and [[Portico]]es,” in J. C. Loudon, ''An Encyclopaedia of Gardening'', 4th ed. (1826), 356, fig. 330.
<p></p>
 
: "1. In architecture, a kind of vestibule supported by [[column]]s at the entrance of [[temple]]s, halls, churches or other buildings. ''Encyc''.  
 
<p></p>
 
: "2. A [[portico]]; a covered [[walk]]."
 
  
 +
Image:1897.jpg|[[J. C. Loudon|J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon]], “View from the Library Porch,” Cheshunt Cottage, in ''The Gardener’s Magazine'' 15, no. 117 (December 1839): 640, fig. 158.
  
* [[George Watterston|Watterston, George]], May 1844, "Landscape Gardening" (p. 314) <ref>George Watterston, "Landscape Gardening," ''Southern Literary Messenger'', 10 (May 1844): 306–15, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/3F6PUXVE view on Zotero.]</ref>
+
Image:0904.jpg|William Struthers, ''Entrance [[Gate]], Lodge & Plan'', 1842.
  
: "The fourth and last requisite in Landscape Gardening is the buildings. These should be so constructed as to be both attractive and useful objects. . . . A Gothic '''porch''' converted into a garden [[seat]], or a window of rich workmanship, partly mantled over with ivy, might possess the merit of being a tasteful as well as a [[picturesque]] object."
+
Image:1151.jpg|Joseph Collins Wells, ''Design for a cottage for Henry C. Bowen, Esq. J. C. Wells Arch<sup>ct</sup>'', ca. 1846.
  
 +
Image:1254.jpg|John Notman, “No. 1 Ground Plan, Smithsonian Institute,” December 23, 1846. “Carriage porch” is inscribed below the “hall of entrance”; "porch” is inscribed below the “reception hall” on either side of the plan.
  
* [[ A. J. Downing|Downing, A. J.]], 1849, ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'' (pp. 322, 375)<ref name="Downing_1849">A. J. Downing, ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America; with a view to the improvement of country residences. Comprising historical notices and general principles of the art, directions for laying out grounds and arranging plantations, the description and cultivation of hardy trees, decorative accompaniments to the house and grounds, the formation of pieces of artificial water, flower gardens, etc.: with remarks on rural architecture'', 4th ed. (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1849), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5M4S2D64 view on Zotero.]</ref> 
+
Image:1253.jpg|[[Alexander Jackson Davis]], Kirri Cottage for Julia Jackson Davis, 1849.
  
: "In all its varieties the Honeysuckle is a charming plant, either to adorn the porch of the cottage, the latticed bower of the garden&mdash;to both of which spots they are especially dedicated&mdash;or to climb the stem of the old forest tree. . ..
+
Image:1543.jpg|Anonymous, "Langwood" and "Principal Floor," ''Horticulturist,'' Vo. 3, No. 9 (March 1849), pl. opp. 401.
<p></p>
 
: "A '''Porch''' strengthens or conveys expression of purpose, because, instead of leaving the entrance door bare, as in manufactories and buildings of an inferior description, it serves both as a note of preparation, and an effectual shelter and protection to the entrance. Besides this, it gives a dignity and importance to that entrance, pointing it out to the stranger as the place of approach. A fine country house, without a '''porch''' or covered shelter to the doorway of some description, is therefore as incomplete, to the correct eye, as a well printed book without a title page, leaving the stranger to plunge at once in medias res, without the friendly preparation of a single word of introduction. '''Porches''' are susceptible of every variety of form and decoration, from the embattled and buttressed portal of the Gothic castle, to the latticed [[arbor]] '''porch''' of the cottage, around which the festoons of luxuriant climbing plants cluster, giving an effect not less beautiful than the richly carved capitals of the classic [[portico]]."
 
  
 +
Image:0951.jpg|(?) Forbes, “Cottage Villa of Wm. J. Rotch, Esq. New Beford, Mass.,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ed., ''Horticulturist'' 4, no. 5 (November 1849): pl. opp. 201. “Front '''porch'''” is inscribed near the bottom of the plan; “back '''porch'''” is inscribed near the top of the plan.
  
* [[ A. J. Downing|Downing, A. J.]], February 1849, "On the Drapery of Cottages and Gardens" (''Horticulturist'' 3: 354)
+
Image:0950.jpg|Anonymous, “Design for a Country House,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ed., ''Horticulturist'' 4, no. 6 (December 1849): pl. opp. 249.
  
: "A '''porch''' of rustic [[trellis]]-work was built over the front door-way, simple and pretty hoods upon brackets over the windows, the door-yard was all laid out afresh, the worn out apple trees were dug up, a nice bit of lawn made around the house, and pleasant groups of [[shrubbery]], (mixed with two or three graceful elms,) planted about it. But, most of all, what fixes the attention, is the lovely profusion of flowering vines that enrich the old house; and transform what was a soulless habitation, into a home that captivates all eyes."
+
Image:1768.jpg|Anonymous, “Principal Floor” of a Symmetrical Stone Farm House, in [[A. J. Downing]], ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850), pl. opp. 145, fig. 59.
  
 +
Image:1837.jpg|Anonymous, “A Country House in the Pointed Style,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850), pl. opp. 304, figs. 133 and 134.
  
[[File:1837.jpg|thumb|Fig. 28, Anonymous, "A Country House in the Pointed Style", 1850.]]
+
File:1003.jpg|Anonymous, “Design for a Cottage for a Country Clergyman,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ed., ''Horticulturist'' 6, no. 7 (July 1851): pl. opp. 297.
* [[ A. J. Downing|Downing, A. J.]], 1850, ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' ([1850] 1968: 147-48, 308)<ref>A. J. (Andrew Jackson) Downing, ''The Architecture of Country Houses; Including Designs for Cottages, Farm-Houses, and Villas'' (Originally published New York: D. Appleton, 1850. Reprint, New York: Da Capo, 1968), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/GRZPQXQI view on Zotero.]</ref>  
+
</gallery>
  
: "The open ''porch'', of hewn timber, (either painted of a stone color, to harmonize with the outside walls, or stained and oiled, to show the grain of the wood) is a feature which we think one of the most important to the expression of this dwelling [Design XIII], both as regards beauty and comfort. Its size, and the [[seat]]s on each side of it, point out its use&mdash;since it answers the purpose of a [[veranda]], with much less cost. Covered by the grape vine, such a '''porch''' is at once a beautiful and a most agreeable feature to the eye of the passer by. It gives him, at a glance, the key-note to a refinement, quite compatible with a farmer's life&mdash;a refinement not less real than that seen in another class of country houses or ornamental cottages&mdash;but simpler and less fanciful in its manifestation. . . .
+
===Associated===
<p></p>
+
<gallery widths="170px" heights="170px" perrow="7">
: "The '''porch''' of this house [a Country-House in the pointed style], which projects 12 feet, breaks up (see elevation) the otherwise too long horizontal line of the [[veranda]] roof&mdash;and the novice will bear in mind, that as the spirit of the Gothic or pointed style lies in the prevalence of vertical or upward lines, so all long, unbroken, horizontal lines of roof should be avoided.
+
<gallery>
<p></p>
 
: "This '''porch''', being pierced with [[arch]]es on each side, opens on a continuous [[veranda]], 10 feet wide and 80 feet long, which affords a fine [[promenade]] at all seasons&mdash;terminating on one side with the [[greenhouse|green-house]]&mdash;and there are few greater luxuries in a country-house in an American summer, such as it is in this latitude, than such a cool and airy [[veranda]]&mdash;especially if it looks out upon our fine river or lake scenery.*
 
<p></p>
 
: "*Any one living on the Hudson inevitably gets to look upon river scenery as an indispensible part of country landscape. This will account for the manner in which glimpses of river scenery creep into so many of these sketches of houses&mdash;often, as in this design, on the wrong side of the house." [Fig. 28]
 
  
 +
Image:0182.jpg|Eliza Caroline Burgwin Clitherall, ''The [[Hermitage]]'', c. 1805.
  
* <div id="Ranlett"></div>[[William H. Ranlett|Ranlett, William H.]], 1849, ''The Architect'' ([1849] 1976: 1:21) <ref name= "Ranlett_1849">William H. Ranlett, ''The Architect'', 2 vols. (New York: Da Capo, 1976), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/QGQPCB5J/ view on Zotero.]</ref>[[#Ranlett_cite|back up to history]]
+
Image:0320.jpg|William Russell Birch, “York-Island, with a [[View]] of the [[Seat]]s of M.<sup>r</sup> A. Gracie, M.<sup>r</sup> Church &c.,” in ''The Country [[Seat]]s of the United States of North America'' (1808), pl. 17.
  
: "[[Veranda]]s, [[piazza]]s and '''porches''' are very expressive of purpose, and a dwelling should always have one or more of them; and balconies, which are decidedly ornamental and not without use."
+
Image:0358.jpg|Anonymous, “[[Rustic_style|Rustic]] Seat,[[Montgomery Place]], in [[A. J. Downing]], ed., ''Horticulturist'' 2, no. 4 (October 1847): 157, fig. 26.
  
==Images==
+
Image:0921.jpg|[[Frances Palmer]], “English Cottage Style,” in William H. Ranlett, ''The Architect'' (1849), vol. 1, pl. 27, design VIII. In an associated plate, [[Frances Palmer|Palmer]] provides detailed drawings of the “porch.”
  
=== Inscribed ===
+
Image:0922.jpg|[[Frances Palmer]], “English Cottage Style,” in William H. Ranlett, ''The Architect'' (1849), vol. 1, pl. 27, design IX. In an associated plate, [[Frances Palmer|Palmer]] provides detailed drawings of the “porch.”
<gallery widths="170px" heights="170px" perrow="7">
 
<gallery>
 
  
File:0642.jpg|Unknown, Old garden plan of Perry Hall ... showing the box-bordered beds in which was grown a multiplicity of varieties of roses, c. 1820. "Porch" is inscribed near the bottom of the plan.
+
Image:0912.jpg|Anonymous, “Rural Gothic Villa,in [[A. J. Downing]], ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850), pl. opp. 322, fig. 148. In the associated plan, the front entrance is labeled “Porch.
File:1332.jpg|[[J. C. Loudon]], "Porches and Porticoes", in J.C. Loudon, ''An Encyclopaedia of gardening'', (1826), p. 356, fig. 330.
 
File:1247.jpg|[[Alexander Jackson Davis]], Villa for David Codwise, Elevation and Four Plans, 1835. "Porch" is inscribed on the principle floor, alongside the "[[veranda]]".
 
File:1151.jpg|Joseph C. Wells, Ground-floor plan, c. 1846.
 
File:1254.jpg|[[John Notman]], "No. 1 Ground Plan, Smithsonian Institute",  December 23, 1846. "Carriage porch" is inscribed bellow the "hall of entrance"; "porch" is inscribed bellow the "reception hall" on either side of the plan.
 
File:0358.jpg|Anonymous, "Rustic Seat," Montgomery Place, in ''The Horticulturist'' 2 (October 1847): p. 157, fig. 26.
 
File:0951.jpg|Anonymous, "Cottage Villa of Wm. J. Rotch, Esq. New Beford, Mass.", in ''The Horticulturist'' 4 (November 1849): pl. opp. p. 201."Front porch" is inscribed near the bottom of the plan; "back porch" is inscribed near the top of the plan.
 
File:0950.jpg|Anonymous, ""Design for a Country House"", in ''The Horticulturist'' 4 (December 1849): pl. opp. p. 249.
 
File:1837.jpg|Anonymous, "A Country House in the Pointed Style", in A.J. Downing, ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850), Design XXV, pl. opp. p. 304, fig. 133 and 134.
 
File:1768.jpg|Anonymous, "Principal Floor" of a Symmetrical Stone Farm House, in A.J. Downing, ''The Architecture of Country Houses'' (1850), pl. opp. p. 145, figs. 58 and 59.
 
File:1003.jpg|Anonymous, "Design for a Cottage for a Country Clergyman", in ''The Horticulturist'' 6 (July 1851): image: pl. opp.p. 297.
 
  
 +
Image:0783.jpg|[[Frances Palmer]], “Waldwic Cottage,” in William H. Ranlett, ''The Architect'' (1851), 2: 31. “Enclosed porch to the library.”
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
  
Line 175: Line 163:
 
<gallery>
 
<gallery>
  
File:0231.jpg|[[Charles Fraser]], ''A Seat on the Ashley River'', April 1802.
+
Image:0021.jpg|Cornelius Tiebout, ''A [[View]] of the present [[Seat]] of His Excel. the Vice President of the United States'', 1790.
File:0182.jpg|Caroline Elizabeth Burgwin Clitherall, attr., ''The Hermitage'', c. 1805.
+
 
File:0464.jpg|[[Nicolino Calyo]], ''Harlem, the Country House of Dr. Edmondson'', 1834.
+
Image:0005.jpg|Amy Cox, attr., ''Box [[Grove]]'', c. 1800.
 +
 
 +
Image:0231.jpg|[[Charles Fraser]], ''A [[Seat]] on the Ashley River'', April 1802.
 +
 
 +
Image:0322.jpg|William Russell Birch, “China Retreat Pennsyl.<sup>a</sup> the [[Seat]] of M.<sup>r</sup> Manigault,” 1808, in William Russell Birch and Emily Cooperman, ''The Country [[Seat]]s of the United States'' (2009), 79, pl. 19.
 +
 
 +
Image:0164.jpg|Joshua H. Hayward, “A [[View]] of the [[Seat]] of Theodore Lyman, Esqr., in Waltham, taken on the principles of perspective,” Mathematical Thesis, 1818.
 +
 
 +
Image:1140.jpg|Hugh Bridport, ''The Pagoda and [[Labyrinth]] Garden'', c. 1828.  
 +
 
 +
Image:1432.jpg|Milo Osborne, “Deaf and Dumb Asylum,” in Theodore S. Fay, ''[[View]]s in New-York and its Environs from Accurate, Characteristic, and [[Picturesque]] Drawings'' (1831).
 +
 
 +
Image:0464.jpg|Nicolino Calyo, ''Harlem, the Country House of Dr. Edmondson'', 1834.
 +
 
 +
Image:1466.jpg|Anonymous, “Villa of Theodore Lyman, Esq., near Boston,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'', 4th ed. (1849), 387, fig. 48.
 +
 
 +
Image:1131.jpg|Edward Hicks, ''Leedom Farm'', 1849.
  
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
 +
 +
<hr>
  
 
==Notes==
 
==Notes==
  
 
<references></references>
 
<references></references>
 +
 +
[[Category: Keywords]]
 +
[[Category: Transition Between House and Garden]]

Latest revision as of 10:14, April 6, 2021

History

Fig. 1, William Russell Birch, “York-Island, with a View of the Seats of M.r A. Gracie, M.r Church &c.,” in The Country Seats of the United States of North America (1808), pl. 17.
Fig. 2, Anonymous, “Bracketed Veranda from the inside,” in A. J. Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses (1850), 122, fig. 45.

Porch is one of several words (including piazza, portico, and veranda) used to describe covered walks or spaces supported by columns or piers and attached to, or to part of, a building. This architectural feature spoke to the interrelatedness of architecture and gardens, a relationship that grew out of the romantic interest in landscape characterizing the aesthetics of the 18th and 19th centuries. Two images exemplify the importance of these structures in creating and framing views of the garden and landscape. The first is a drawing of York Island, Long Island, by William Russell Birch (1808), who explained that the view was taken from the piazza, a place from which one could see “innumerable seats, spreading over an extensive country which glittered as the sun arose” [Fig. 1].[1] The second is from A. J. Downing's book on wooden picturesque houses, The Architecture of Country Houses (1850) [Fig. 2]. Both illustrate views from the bracketed piazza, or veranda, as Downing preferred to call it, out to the distant prospect. Two points are important in the history of these terms: First, these architectural elements served to elide the boundaries of the garden and building by linking interior and exterior space both visually and physically. Second, the associative values of refinement and domesticity, and even national progress, were read into the forms.

Treatises often used these terms interchangeably, along with a few other less common words that were more or less synonymous. Downing and Alexander Jackson Davis used the term “umbrage” to refer to the same feature on a house, implying a place of shade;[2] Downing used the term “pavilion” synonymously with “veranda[3]; and Mary Elizabeth Latrobe mentioned that in New Orleans the piazza was also known as the gallery. Contrasting usage sometimes reveals distinctions. In his plan for a country house, Downing also used the term “porch” to identify the central area of the veranda leading to the entryway. The 19th-century architect William H. Ranlett sometimes distinguished between piazza and veranda, using “piazza” for a walk over which a projecting roof might be added, and “veranda” for a structure that included a roof (view text). Two points are important in the history of these terms: First, these architectural elements served to elide the boundaries of the garden and building by linking interior and exterior space both visually and physically. Second, the associative values of refinement and domesticity, and even national progress, were read into the forms.

Fig. 3, William Russell Birch, “China Retreat Pennsyl.a the Seat of M.r Manigault,” 1808, in William Russell Birch and Emily Cooperman, The Country Seats of the United States (2009), 79, pl. 19.

The term “porch” was defined in the 1828 dictionary entry by Noah Webster as referring to a roofed architectural element often supported by columns or piers, either attached to a building or existing as an independent garden structure (view text). During the colonial and early Republic periods three kinds of porches were evident throughout America. First, the porch was either an open or enclosed projecting roofed area of a building that sheltered a doorway or entrance [Fig. 3]. Since most gardens were situated next to the house, a porch was often a point of access from the house to the ornamental grounds. Eliza Caroline Burgwin Clitherall (active 1801) depicted such a porch at the Hermitage in Wilmington, North Carolina. [See Fig. 5].

Fig. 4, Anonymous, “Principal Floor” of a Symmetrical Stone Farm House, in A. J. Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses (1850), pl. opp. 145, fig. 59.

The second meaning of the term referred to a covered sitting and viewing area that was either attached to the building or was free-standing. In describing the use of porches as “decorative marks to the entrances of scenes” (akin to those of a theater proscenium), J. C. Loudon was referring to their use as embellished shelters over benches or seats placed in the garden (view text). Downing’s illustration of the rustic porch at Montgomery Place, on the Hudson River in Dutchess County, New York, suggests that, in addition to punctuating or shaping garden scenery, as Loudon recommended, porches, if appropriately placed and decorated, could function as seats and pavilions did, directing the viewer’s attention to a offered a way to view or prospect [See Fig. 7].[4] Its function also allowed those seated to observe the landscape in all kinds of weather, as described in 1749 by Pehr Kalm. Downing’s porches make clear the function of the porch as a mediator between interior and exterior realms. He praised porches that were covered with vegetation for easing the transition from outside to inside, and for providing evidence of the cultivated domesticity within the home [Fig. 4].

The third kind of porch is described by Downing as the carriage porch, or porte cochère, where in a grand home the arriving guests drew up under an architectural canopy for shelter. John Notman similarly inscribed the term porte cochère on his unexecuted design for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC [See Fig. 6]. He includes porches for the side entrances and piazzas for galleries running along the façades.

Therese O’Malley


Texts

Usage

  • House of Burgesses, 1701, describing the Capitol, Williamsburg, VA (quoted in Lounsbury 1994: 286)[5]
“[It was ordered that] the porches of the said Capitol [in Williamsburg] be built circular fifteen foot in breadth from outside to outside, and that they stand upon cedar columns.”


  • Kalm, Pehr, June 21, 1749, describing Albany, NY (1937: 1:341)[6]
“The front doors are generally in the middle of the houses, and on both sides are porches with seats, on which during fair weather the people spend almost the whole day, especially on those porches which are in the shade. . . In the evening the verandas are full of people of both sexes.”


  • Orphans Court, 1795, describing an orphan’s estate in Worcester County, MD (quoted in Lounsbury 1994: 286)[5]
“. . . framed dwelling house. . . [with] a porch or piazza on the easternmost side of the house about 21 feet long by 7 feet wide plank floor with seats.”


Fig. 5, Eliza Caroline Burgwin Clitherall, The Hermitage, c. 1805. back up to History
  • Clitherall, Eliza Caroline Burgwin (Caroline Elizabeth Burgwin), active 1801, describing the Hermitage, seat of John Burgwin, Wilmington, NC (quoted in Flowers 1983: 125)[7]
“You have seen the picture representing the Hermitage, Tho’ in appearance it fell far behind Alveston or Ashley [English estates belonging to Burgwin relatives]. . . a large handsomely finish’d room the middle door opening to a porch, leading to the front garden, on either side of this room, were glass doors opening upon the Piazza to each wing.” [Fig. 5].


  • Anonymous, 1803, describing in The Virginia Herald a property for rent in Fredericksburg, VA (quoted in Lounsbury 1994: 286)[5]
“. . . commodious close porch in front, and an open portico in the rear.”


Fig. 6, John Notman, “No. 1 Ground Plan, Smithsonian Institute,” December 23, 1846. back up to History
  • Barber, John Warner, and Henry Howe, 1844, describing Mount Holly, NJ (1844: 112)[8]
“Some porches still remain, on the more ancient dwellings, to revive the recollection of the social manners which once prevailed, when neighbors freely and unceremoniously visited from house to house, taking the porches for their sittings and conversation. They were the delight of the young, for they facilitated visits and acquaintances between the sexes. The moderns scout them, even while they desire their use.”


  • Notman, John, December 26, 1846, describing his designs for the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (quoted in Greiff 1979: 119)[9]
“No. 5 is the north front; on this is seen the carriage porch elevation, a structure necessary to comfort in a building of so many purposes.” [Fig. 6]


Fig. 7, Anonymous, “Rustic Seat,” Montgomery Place, in A. J. Downing, ed., Horticulturist 2, no. 4 (October 1847): 157, fig. 26. back up to History
“Not long after leaving the rustic pavilion, on descending by one of the paths that diverges to the left, we reach a charming little covered resting place, in the form of a rustic porch. The roof is prettily thatched with thick green moss. Nestling under a dark canopy of evergreens in the shelter of a rocky fern-covered bank, an hour or two may be whiled away within it, almost unconscious of the passage of time.” [Fig. 7]. back up to History


Citations

  • Johnson, Samuel, 1755, A Dictionary of the English Language (1755: 2:n.p.)[10]
PORCH. n.s. [porche, Fr. porticus, Lat.]

“1. A roof supported by pillars before a door; an entrance.

“2. A portico; a covered walk.”


Fig. 8, J. C. Loudon, “Porches and porticoes,” in An Encyclopædia of Gardening, 4th ed. (1826), 356, fig. 330.
“1809. Porches and porticoes. . . are sometimes employed as decorative marks to the entrances of scenes; and sometimes merely as roofs to shelter seats or resting benches.” [Fig. 8] back up to History


  • Webster, Noah, 1828, An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828: 2:n.p.)[12]
PORCH, n. [Fr. porche, from L. porticus, from porta, a gate, entrance or passage, or from portus,a shelter.]

“1. In architecture, a kind of vestibule supported by columns at the entrance of temples, halls, churches or other buildings. Encyc.

“2. A portico; a covered walk.”
back up to History


  • Watterston, George, May 1844, “Landscape Gardening” (May 1844: 314)[13]
“The fourth and last requisite in Landscape Gardening is the buildings. These should be so constructed as to be both attractive and useful objects. . . A Gothic porch converted into a garden seat, or a window of rich workmanship, partly mantled over with ivy, might possess the merit of being a tasteful as well as a picturesque object.”


“In all its varieties the Honeysuckle is a charming plant, either to adorn the porch of the cottage, the latticed bower of the garden—to both of which spots they are especially dedicated—or to climb the stem of the old forest tree. . .

“A Porch strengthens or conveys expression of purpose, because, instead of leaving the entrance door bare, as in manufactories and buildings of an inferior description, it serves both as a note of preparation, and an effectual shelter and protection to the entrance. Besides this, it gives a dignity and importance to that entrance, pointing it out to the stranger as the place of approach. A fine country house, without a porch or covered shelter to the doorway of some description, is therefore as incomplete, to the correct eye, as a well printed book without a title page, leaving the stranger to plunge at once in medias res, without the friendly preparation of a single word of introduction. Porches are susceptible of every variety of form and decoration, from the embattled and buttressed portal of the Gothic castle, to the latticed arbor porch of the cottage, around which the festoons of luxuriant climbing plants cluster, giving an effect not less beautiful than the richly carved capitals of the classic portico.”


“A porch of rustic trellis-work was built over the front door-way, simple and pretty hoods upon brackets over the windows, the door-yard was all laid out afresh, the worn out apple trees were dug up, a nice bit of lawn made around the house, and pleasant groups of shrubbery, (mixed with two or three graceful elms,) planted about it. But, most of all, what fixes the attention, is the lovely profusion of flowering vines that enrich the old house; and transform what was a soulless habitation, into a home that captivates all eyes.”


Fig. 9, Anonymous, “A Country House in the Pointed Style,” in A. J. Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses (1850), pl. opp. 304, figs. 133 and 134.
“The open porch, of hewn timber, (either painted of a stone color, to harmonize with the outside walls, or stained and oiled, to show the grain of the wood) is a feature which we think one of the most important to the expression of this dwelling [Design XIII], both as regards beauty and comfort. Its size, and the seats on each side of it, point out its use—since it answers the purpose of a veranda, with much less cost. Covered by the grape vine, such a porch is at once a beautiful and a most agreeable feature to the eye of the passer by. It gives him, at a glance, the key-note to a refinement, quite compatible with a farmer’s life—a refinement not less real than that seen in another class of country houses or ornamental cottages—but simpler and less fanciful in its manifestation. . .

“The porch of this house [a Country-House in the pointed style], which projects 12 feet, breaks up (see elevation) the otherwise too long horizontal line of the veranda roof—and the novice will bear in mind, that as the spirit of the Gothic or pointed style lies in the prevalence of vertical or upward lines, so all long, unbroken, horizontal lines of roof should be avoided. [Fig. 9]

“This porch, being pierced with arches on each side, opens on a continuous veranda, 10 feet wide and 80 feet long, which affords a fine promenade at all seasons—terminating on one side with the green-house—and there are few greater luxuries in a country-house in an American summer, such as it is in this latitude, than such a cool and airy veranda—especially if it looks out upon our fine river or lake scenery.*

“*Any one living on the Hudson inevitably gets to look upon river scenery as an indispensible part of country landscape. This will account for the manner in which glimpses of river scenery creep into so many of these sketches of houses—often, as in this design, on the wrong side of the house.”


  • Ranlett, William H., 1849, The Architect (1849; repr., 1976: 1:21)[17]
Verandas, piazzas and porches are very expressive of purpose, and a dwelling should always have one or more of them; and balconies, which are decidedly ornamental and not without use.” back up to History



Images

Inscribed

Associated

Attributed


Notes

  1. William Russell Birch, The Country Seats of the United States of North America: With Some Scenes Connected with Them (Springland, PA: W. Birch, 1808), view on Zotero.
  2. William Pierson Jr. traces the origins of the feature, specifically found in Alexander Jackson Davis and A. J. Downing’s work, to the awning or canopy partaking of an oriental flavor. In general, its origin was a semi-enclosed outdoor space that was not at all architectural but was related to the ornamental canopy or tent. This connection might explain why the detail flourished during the high romantic period in American architecture. See Pierson, American Buildings and Their Architects: Technology and the Picturesque, the Corporate and the Early Gothic Styles, vol. 2 (New York: Doubleday, 1978), 300–4, view on Zotero.
  3. Alexander Jackson Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses; Including Designs for Cottages, Farm-Houses, and Villas (New York: D. Appleton, 1850; repr. New York: Da Capo, 1968), 357, view on Zotero.
  4. Alexander Jackson Downing, “A Visit to Montgomery Place,” Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste 2, no. 4 (October 1847): 156, view on Zotero.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Carl R. Lounsbury, ed., An Illustrated Glossary of Early Southern Architecture and Landscape (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), view on Zotero.
  6. Pehr Kalm, The America of 1750: Peter Kalm’s Travels in North America. The English Version of 1770, 2 vols. (New York: Wilson-Erickson, 1937), view on Zotero.
  7. John Flowers, “People and Plants: North Carolina’s Garden History Revisited,” Eighteenth Century Life 8, no. 2 (January 1983): 117–29, view on Zotero.
  8. John Warner Barber and Henry Howe, Historical Collections of the State of New Jersey. . . with Geographical Descriptions of Every Township in the State, (Newark: Benjamin Olds, 1844), view on Zotero.
  9. Constance Greiff, John Notman, Architect, 1810–1865 (Philadelphia: Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 1979), view on Zotero.
  10. Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language: In Which the Words are Deduced from the Originals and Illustrated in the Different Significations by Examples from the Best Writers, 2 vols. (London: W. Strahan for J. and P. Knapton, 1755), view on Zotero.
  11. J. C. (John Claudius) Loudon, An Encyclopaedia of Gardening; Comprising the Theory and Practice of Horticulture, Floriculture, Arboriculture, and Landscape-Gardening, 4th ed. (London: Longman et al., 1826), view on Zotero.
  12. Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language, 2 vols. (New York: S. Converse, 1828), view on Zotero.
  13. George Watterston, “Landscape Gardening,” Southern Literary Messenger 10 (May 1844): 306–15, view on Zotero.
  14. A. J. Downing, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening. . . , 4th ed. (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1849), view on Zotero.
  15. A. J. Downing, “On the Drapery of Cottages and Gardens,” Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste 3, no. 8 (February 1849): 353–59, view on Zotero.
  16. A. J. (Andrew Jackson) Downing, The Architecture of Country Houses; Including Designs for Cottages, Farm-Houses, and Villas (New York: D. Appleton, 1850; repr., New York: Da Capo, 1968), view on Zotero.
  17. William H. Ranlett, The Architect, 2 vols. (1849–51; repr. New York: Da Capo, 1976), view on Zotero.

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History of Early American Landscape Design contributors, "Porch," History of Early American Landscape Design, , https://heald.nga.gov/mediawiki/index.php?title=Porch&oldid=40745 (accessed October 17, 2021).

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