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Porches Across America

A spot to foster conviviality with passersby, a place to perch a chair and enjoy the outdoors, a threshold between inside and out, and an informal living room for neighborhoods—the porch is arguably one of the more important elements of a house. As Jane Jacobs wrote in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, "The trust of a city street is formed over time from many, many little public sidewalk contacts...The absence of this trust is a disaster to a city street." Having this private public space serves communities just as much as residents. We pay homage to this architectural feature in the following slideshow.

Shawn Mosely's nontraditional Atlanta, Georgia, home includes a front wall that opens the living room onto the front yard—and to the rest of the neighborhood, which has enthusiastically welcomed the house and its owner. The house's dramatic eaves are reminiscent of the deep awnings and large front porches that have long been the perennial design solutions for escaping oppressive Southern summer heat.

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