The Queen Anne style of architecture, very popular in its time, was first introduced at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, from England. It primarily featured steep roofs and very embellished and picturesque detail. Porches were very important in this style, exhibited as front, L-shaped, or wrap around porches. Second story porches did exist in this style infrequently. Turned posts were a main feature of most porches, and railings appeared in many forms and fashions.
Queen Anne Style House (Kahn 51)
Shingle Style architecture, as its name implies, exhibited wood shingles everywhere, offering a natural appearance. Shingle style houses were post prevalent on the coast, usually found at seaside resorts. The porch appeared as a natural extension of the house, placed appropriately to take advantage of the natural setting. The porch posts and balustrades meant to reflect the nature of the house. Consequently, porch posts were covered with shingles and the balustrade was made of stone or simple sticks.
Shingle Style House (McAlester 298)
Nebraska City, Nebraska
This style of architecture, derived from the "bungle" houses of British ruled India, dominated the small house market in its time. It attempted, like the Shingle style, to blend intself into the surrounding environment. Porches were still important architecturally, and this style featured "deep shaded" porches. These porches exhibited plain rails and heavy posts. The porches, as the style itself, were influenced by many of the other contemporary styles.
Pattern Book sketch of Craftsmen/Bungalow style house (Kahn 61)
The Prarie Style of architecture, a truly American form, drew its origins from the influences of Frank Lloyd Wright. Usually two stories high, the houses were of horizontal nature, exhibiting stucco, brick, or stained wood exteriors. The Prarie Style featured one story high porches with wood or masonry porch posts.
Sketch of a Prarie Style House, 1909 (Kahn 74)
These styles of architecture, drawing from historical roots, were the key architectural forms in the United States from the turn of the century until the depression. These styles mimiced earlier styles, such as Colonial, Tudor, or Spanish Colonial, often times confusing these styles and creating an inaccurate representation. Porches, in this style of architecture, became unimportant. If they existed, they were usually pushed to the back or the side, or came in the form of a sleeping porch. This style's lack of porches served as a harbinger for future architectural styles in America.
Following World War II, the modern style of American architecture abandoned historical precedent, emphasizing the new variations of style that had begun to develop prior to the war. Usually only one or two stories high, these houses were built horizontally, emphasizing structure and deemphasizing decorative details. This diverse style of architecture usually lacked front porches, marking the end of this American architectural form. The reasons for this abandonment of the front porch will be examined later in this study, in the section titled The Decline of the American Front Porch.