Jamaica Plain, May 2015


porch living, jp  (sonya kovacic)

porch living, jp (sonya kovacic)

In Boston, porches are synonymous with a popular form of architecture from the late 19th/early 20th century-- the triple-decker. Triple-deckers allowed recent immigrants and the working class to own property, live away from the city, and have outdoor space with porches.

From the Boston Public Library:

"During the 1870' s, suburbs such as Allston, Jamaica Plain and Dorchester were annexed to Boston and the horse-drawn streetcar system was extended to serve them. This set the stage for a period of tremendous economic and physical development in Boston. Given the opportunity to move from the crowded conditions of the old "walking" city, a rapidly growing middle class chose to move to the new "streetcar suburbs," where they were able to afford a free-standing one-, two- or three-family wooden house with enough land to provide a sense of individuality.

The triple-decker evolved as a unique and enormously popular housing style during the period of sustained building activity that began around 1890 and lasted into the 1920' s. By 1920, approximately 15,000 triple-deckers had been constructed in Boston, and the style had spread throughout New England. Free-standing houses with a two- or three-bedroom apartment on each floor, triple-deckers provided more light, fresh air and suburban green space than the older brick row houses closer to the center of the city.

Tomorrow is PorchFest in Somerville! Porches all over Somerville become performance spaces for local bands. Take a look at this map to see which bands are playing and where.

JP will have their second annual Porchfest on July 11th.