The Verandah – Hallmark of Architecture

by on March 7th, 2015
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A verandah, or veranda, is an open porch with a roof that abuts or is permanently attached to a house or other structure. It generally has a railing attached and the railed verandah extends across the front of the house and continues along its sides. A verandah defines an area of privacy within a residence. Almost all the homes built during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, in the United States, had with a verandah attached.

Protection from Sun, Rain and Snow

The roof of a verandah diverts the elements away from the dwelling. The roof of a wide verandah will deposit water from rain, melting snow, and ice several feet away from the residence. Windows on the lower floor of the house benefit from the shade of a verandah’s ceiling, so, the interior of the house is kept cooler as a result of the verandah.

Social Gatherings

Years ago it was quite common, during the summer, to entertain friends and visitors on the verandah. Nearly all homes were without air conditioning and usually a fresh breeze could be had on a verandah. A cool drink during mid-afternoon or even a chance to sit in a comfortable chair while doing handiwork was enjoyable.

Business Exchanges

In the halcyon days of verandahs everyone understood that the interior a person’s home was strictly off-limits to all but family members. A verandah served as a place for conducting business with people of the legal profession, members of the clergy, employees, and salesmen.

A Place to Play

Parents encouraged their children to “play” on the verandah especially if house-cleaning was in progress and many families often gathered on the verandah, after dinner, to enjoy the cool evening breezes. Quiet discussions could be held there too, while the children were making themselves ready for bed.

Famous Verandah’s

Quite a few movie scenes and action happened on verandahs. The movie “Three Amigos” uses a reference to a verandah: Rosita: “I was thinking later, you could kiss me on the verandah.” Dusty Bottoms: “Lips would be fine.” The movie: “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” contained scenes in and around a verandah. And who can forget the verandah in the classic “Gone with the Wind?”

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