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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default Victorian Porch Mystery

    Hi Folks,

    I am in the planning stages of restoring my 1880's front porch. The problem that keeps arising is trying to figure out what is original and what is not. When I look at the porch it looks like there are posts missing where the arches come down and just hang in the air. I am not an expert but it looks as though they should have posts in those locations (3.5 in total). I am hoping that I can get some expert advice on this and put the porch back in its original state. Neighbors who have been in the area since the 50's say that the porch has always look as it does in the picture, but even at that time the porch was already 70 years old and things could have been modified.

    I haven't been able to track down any old photos of the house so far. Please let me know what you think.

    Thank You

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/...psb212b2f9.png

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/...psd481f6dc.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,804

    Default Re: Victorian Porch Mystery

    My guess is that they are as originally built. The short "post" comming down from the ceiling is just there to support the end of the arch. If posts were installed on the ones beside the doorway it would obstruct foot passage.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Victorian Porch Mystery

    i agree with jack. if there was supposed to be a post there then they would not have the cornice bracket against the house....it's a victorian and those are some of the unusual things they used to do, i think it looks pretty nice like that

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Victorian Porch Mystery

    Hello again,

    Thanks for your input on this. It has been a while since I posted my question, but I have been searching for clues from the past. I found this photo of a home from my area from 1905, take a look at the porch. It looks very similar to mine and has posts attached to the house and at the end of every arch. I am still not sure what my porch was like originally.


    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/...ps7ec9b546.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Boston area
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Victorian Porch Mystery

    Unless they completely reconfigured the porch and added the side porches after the house was built, I think it is original. If it isn't original, they did a great job matching the trim.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,180

    Default Re: Victorian Porch Mystery

    It's a very oddball way of installing ionic columns. This is more typical, molded/square posts all the way down, very integrated into the arches.
    http://pdxclassichomes.com/files/2010/05/gothic.jpg
    http://www.oldhousedreams.com/wp-con...Grove-Rd12.jpg
    http://www.oldhousedreams.com/wp-con...llege-St12.jpg
    http://circaoldhouses.com/wp-content...inStSmyrna.jpg
    Your columns don't seem to be in vertical plane with the work above them, either.

    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,750

    Default Re: Victorian Porch Mystery

    I don't see a structural need for the added posts so I doubt that they ever had any at those locations.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Victorian Porch Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Sombreuil_mongrel View Post
    It's a very oddball way of installing ionic columns. This is more typical, molded/square posts all the way down, very integrated into the arches.
    http://pdxclassichomes.com/files/2010/05/gothic.jpg
    http://www.oldhousedreams.com/wp-con...Grove-Rd12.jpg
    http://www.oldhousedreams.com/wp-con...llege-St12.jpg
    http://circaoldhouses.com/wp-content...inStSmyrna.jpg
    Your columns don't seem to be in vertical plane with the work above them, either.

    Casey
    I thought this house would have had square posts originally until I saw the original front capitals with a round bottom on them.
    All of your pictures have posts at the end of every arch, this is my conundrum...... if only I had an original picture of the house.

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/...ps184f2661.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Victorian Porch Mystery

    I have another piece of information that could be useful. The railing that wraps the porch has been cut near the house on both sides (pic), I think originally they could have been attached to a post in the vacant spots at each end of the porch. Its obvious that the railings weren't intended to be that way but were modified, maybe for access from the yard and driveway? Also, I don't think they would have fit between square posts unless the posts were about 10' wide.

    The sides of the porch do have small posts that are holding the railing now but I feel they were added later.

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/...ps9d337083.jpg

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6c89cd44.jpg

    Skintigh,
    I am sure the whole porch is original and the sides were not added later. The timbers underneath are all original.

    A couple more pics

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/...ps5d945609.jpg
    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/...psd85809f0.jpg
    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6cb7660a.jpg

    Thank You everyone for your input, I will solve this eventually. It would certainly be less expensive to replace 6 posts instead of 10. There are 2 layers of flooring on the porch, I am hoping that when I lift the first layer there may be some evidence to prove everything, but I won't bet on it as this house is full of surprises.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,804

    Default Re: Victorian Porch Mystery

    I believe the posts and arches are original as they are but the wrought iron and end posts were added at a later date.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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