Seeking the History of Screened Porches

| 6/26/2014 7:59:00 AM

Of Mice and Mountain MenAnyone who has experienced one has to admit that a screened porch is a wonderful addition to any house. A screened porch offers the breezes, scents, sounds, and sights of being outdoors – but without the bugs and the blazing sun. In rural areas – before air conditioning became rampant – many people used a screened porch as a bunk room on particularly sweltering summer nights.

Screened Porch 2


Victorian home with a sleeping porch on the second floor. Usually built off a bedroom, the sleeping porch was screened in on three sides for maximum air circulation.

But like so many brilliant architectural adaptations, the screened porch has been shoved aside by more modern innovations and changes in lifestyle. Conversion to a year-round sunroom or blown out into a larger deck or patio that offers a full open-air atmosphere, the screened porch is fast becoming a nostalgic memory.

Have you ever wondered who first thought of enclosing a porch with window screening? Let’s have a seat in the Wayback Whensday machine and see what we can find out.

6/27/2014 8:18:39 AM

I sure do wish I had a screened porch. In the plans for us is a pergola with a porch swing in it. While we're usually working right up till dark, it would be nice to sit out there after dark and watch the moon. Nice place for my hubby and I to enjoy one another's company. Better keep my teen daughter and her boyfriends off of it though!

6/27/2014 7:50:17 AM

Alan, your observations are so true. Urban USA have indeed turned the porch into a cosmetic design that really serves no function. The culture today has migrated from mostly outdoor activities to indoor living. Even the rural houses have changed with the advent of air conditioning. I don't have a screened in porch but I do have a front patio that I've built with many hanging plants to enjoy in the cool of the evening. I am blessed with, it seems, a natural bug repellent. I just am not bothered by bugs. Apparently they just don't like the smell of an old geezer. It's ok with me. ***** Have a great screened porch day.