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Porches of North America

Thomas Durant Visser

The porch, whether simple or grand, evokes feelings of welcome, comfort, and nostalgia in all of us, yet there has been little published on the history of this omnipresent architectural feature. This book examines how porches in their many forms have evolved in the United States and Canada through innovations, adaptations, and revivals. Covering formal porches and verandas, as well as the many informal vernacular types, this book proffers insights into broad cultural customs and patterns, as well as regional preferences and usage. Lavishly illustrated with contemporary and historic photographs, Porches of North America provides a chronological and typological framework for identifying historic porches. All those who love to while away afternoons on a favorite porch will find this architectural history delightful as well as informative.

Cover Image of Porches of North America
Cloth: $39.95 | E-book: $29.99
ISBN-13: 9781611682205
Pages: 304 | Size: 7.25 in. x 10.25 in.
Date Published: April 10, 2012
Screenshot-2023-10-11-at-16.51.58

Reviews

  • Does any architectural feature evoke more ‘tenacious feelings of welcome, comfort, and nostalgia’ than the porch? Visser here presents a comprehensive, well-researched, heavily illustrated (in black-and-white), and well-written discourse on the history of the porch. . . . A worthwhile read. . . . Recommended

    Choice
  • Despite their nostalgic associations and unique status as hybrid indoor-outdoor spaces, porches often go unappreciated or, worse, are renovate beyond recognition. Visser’s 304-page, richly illustrate book aims to rally respect for the porch by examining its long history and paradoxical roles as a stage, a retreat, and an observation post.

    Seven Days
  • This is a valuable book covering an important but under-studied subject. It makes a significant contribution to the field by presenting a careful and considered analysis of both the social and cultural significance and the stylistic details of porches.

    Steven J. Hoffman
    Coordinator, Historic Preservation Program, Southeast Missouri State University

About the Author

THOMAS DURANT VISSER is an associate professor and director of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Vermont and is the author of Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings.

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