Source: REMODELING Magazine
Publication date: December 1, 2006
By Dick Kawalek
Archeologists may someday attribute the decline of a once-great civilization to the overabundance of suburban homes that typically feature peculiar two-story grand entry-ways that were never even used.
Of course this is a joke, but there is no shortage of two-story entryways seemingly “pasted-on” to house facades in our culture, a trend stemming from the discovery of this cheap eye-catcher sometime during the 1970s. Providing neither shelter nor shade, they have no historical counterpart short of Hadrian's villa, but perhaps fill the need for an icon denoting “front door.” We have lost sight of other more gracious ways to enter a home.
We abandoned our love of the front porch as we embraced the automobile and air conditioning. The front garden gradually lost favor, and with it the picket fence and garden gate. Nonetheless, these can be interesting and engaging visual features on the front of a home that distinguish the entrance and provide a nostalgic and endearing welcome. Landscaping should project toward the street, not just hide where the house meets the ground.
Today most folks enter houses through the garage or through a back door, which is fine, but it doesn't provide any delight. Builders often fail to create a useful walkway or anywhere to park at the front of the house, so visitors pull up to the garage door — and that's their first impression.
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