Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Covet Of The Week: Port Cocheres

It's fun to dream about what i'd do, if i were ridiculously wealthy. Some people collect exotic cars, others collect ex-spouses. Me if i were rich beyond belief, i think i'd collect properties. Old ones, with lots of character. I'm a little bit addicted to all things home. I recall when growing up, i would watch This Old House, Hometime, and Home Again. My poor brothers who wanted to watch cartoons would instead be subjected to countless hours of Norm Abrams, Dean Johnson (with his fake-wife du jour) and Bob Vila whenever it was "my channel". To this day i'm a sucker for old houses, especially when they have some of those architectural elements i covet (and oh how there are so many architectural elelments that i covet), which is what i'll be blogging about in this regular (hopefully) feature.

My first Covet of The Week* is dedicated to Port Cocheres. So what is a port cochere? It's basically a structure attached to the main house, that one can drive a car under, so that people can get in and out without getting wet from the elements. Cynics may be asking, but isn't that like an attached garage without the benefits of a garage door? And to this i would emphatically say: No, that would be a car port! Car ports and garages are purely functional, they are where you park your car, and store your lawn mower and your garbage cans. Port cocheres on the other hand, are covered passageways were people get in and out of their cars. They remind us of the days, when men would retrieve the car and then open the door to allow ladies to enter the vehicle, all under the dry shelter of a port cochere. Unlike garages and car ports, where function trumps form, port cocheres are meant to compliment the beauty of a home.

I'm fortunate enough to live close to some incredible homes that still have original port cocheres. So here are some pics from the net and some from the 'hood. In all cases i love how the port cocheres blend in with the architecture of the homes. Enjoy!

You wont find any lawn mowers or garbage cans under here:
image from flickr

Some nice Craftsman-style bungalow examples, bonus covet points for the full width verandas:

images from flickr

A few examples from around the 'hood:

bonus covet points for the turret and round porch!

* May not actually be weekly in reality.

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