Thursday, November 6, 2008

Porch Hunting

I decided this week that since I'm not helping out at the local newspaper in the evenings anymore that I would start walking for an hour after work. I had been walking pretty regularly for the past few years, but it went to the wayside when I got laid off. Now I want to get back into it, and have decided to take my camera along as a walking buddy to make it more interesting.

When I got the job at Texas State University, my brother asked me if I was going to move to San Marcos. The jury's out on that one. Being a university town, rents and housing costs are kind of high, so I'll look around before I make any decisions.

One thing I've noticed in all of the new housing they're building here in Texas is that none of them have front porches. What has happened to front porches??? I know it gets hot in Texas and that everyone goes inside where it's air conditioned, but there are days when it can be enjoyable to sit outside. I guess the day is gone where you sit out on your front porch and read the paper or a good book while you're having a cup of coffee or a beer. Porches are history now. I love old houses. They have so much more character than houses today. I know they have their downsides, but I guess I'm just a romantic when it comes to housing. So my "walking quest" tonight was finding porches.

Here's a nice one. You could have multiple seating or dining areas on this porch.

Another great one. The leaded glass windows and Corinthian columns are definitely an added bonus.

This one was for sale and uninhabited. The drive-thru area is definitely a historical feature. Since it was vacant, I looked through the windows. Very nice front rooms with fireplaces and hardwood floors. The kitchen looked like it may have been renovated once back in the 70's. I can just imagine what it would cost to renovate this size of a place with a new kitchen, bathrooms, roof, plumbing, electricity, etc. And I would venture a guess that the closets in the bedrooms are about two feet square. Still, it has a damn nice front porch.

A little sidebar here... As I was walking down this street, a memory of "To Kill a Mockingbird" came to mind. I haven't thought of that movie (or book) in years. It was a fall day here...kind of windy and cloudy. And I guess walking by all these old houses in south Texas made me think of it. These are the kinds of porches that you picture Atticus (Gregory Peck) and Scout sitting on, talking about what happened that day. ("Hey, Boo.") What a wonderful book and movie...and I'll always remember the haunting theme song...either you know it or you don't.

Okay, on to more houses. This one is on the historical register and is very well taken care of.

I am definitely a fan of mid-century craftsmen bungalows. These were the places with the built-in bookcases and cupboards...not to mention the nice front porches. This one is very simple, but I think it's cute. And don't those orange pumpkins pop against that blue background??

This one's bigger and definitely has a porch to die for.

Oh, my gosh! This one's for sale! A bit of a "fixer-upper." Would definitely have to work on a front porch theme on this one. Keep in mind that ALL of the photos on this blog post are of houses within a two-block radius. A VERY eclectic neighborhood.

So now we get into the "Belvin Street" area...a historical area of San Marcos. Not only are the homes old, but look at the trees!

I love this little place...looks so warm and inviting. An elderly woman was sitting at a desk in the far left window when I took this picture. I'm guessing she's lived in this house forever.

Then we come to this place. Hmmm...very different. A little bit of the "castle motif."

Then I turned the corner and came on to this place.

A mansion in the middle of the city. Apparently, it was built by a banker's wife, then became a hotel, and now it's privately owned...and on the historial register. (Another sidebar - I'm glad I don't have to mow that lawn.)

San Marcos' version of the White House.

An example of some beautiful gingerbread work.

But you find examples of this in between all the beautiful homes in this area. Delapidated and deserted houses that will probably end up just being torn down. What a shame. Look at this place with its turret and stained glass windows. There goes history. No big deal. How sad.

This was one of my favorites. I know, I big front porch...but how sweet. A kind of place you'd love to come home to. Hopefully, they have a nice back patio. Home Sweet Home.


Jamqueen said...

wonderful photos! Thankls for the tour around town--I love porches!

Life's a Beach! said...

I love these old houses! I've always wanted one with a big porch I could decorate. In one of our live's, we almost ended up in Bentonville, Arkansas. We were looking at an 1868 brick home that was on the National Historic Register. But I'd take a cute little cottage with a front porch anyday! :) Great pictures!

Vee said...

Many of these houses could be in my neighborhood. I also love the 1920s Craftsman bungalows - I live in one much like the one with pumpkins on the steps. I enjoy your blog and your wonderful photos!

Isla Deb said...

Thanks, all! The more I think about it, the more I'd like to find some tiny little old place and renovate it. All the new construction going up around the area is boring in my humble opinion.

Jill said...

i know exactly what you mean about Boo of my all-time favorite books. i'll be in touch soon with updates, just trying to catch my breath right now! hope all is well.

Jadielady said...

Beautiful homes and photos of them! Thanks for the comment :)