• Lizzie

Wikipedia Edit #2: Porch Sitting - The Mythos of Porches

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

New Text:

Porch sitting: to sit on a front porch or stoop. An often social leisure activity performed mostly during good weather. Porch sitting is associated with an increase in community connection and a reduction in neighborhood crime. Popularized in the United States, it is now a declining architectural feature due to cars and air conditioning. The New Urbanism movement of the 1980's included building porches as an important piece that enhanced community building.

Old Text (word count: ):

Porch sitting, i.e., sitting on a front porch or stoop, usually of a private residence is a leisure activity which can be a direct or indirect form of social interaction. This activity is a staple of most urban areas in the United States, and helps contribute to a lively atmosphere, for those sitting and also those passing by. This activity is most common during good weather, especially on warm summer nights and weekends.[1]

Porch sitting was once considered to be a status symbol.[2]

As well as being a good way to connect with neighbors, it also is an important form of community security, helping to prevent crime.[3] Front porches were originally mandated in the planned community of Seaside, Florida, as a way to reduce air conditioning usage.[4] Its planners then perceived an enhanced sense of community and front porches subsequently became an important element in the New Urbanism movement.[4] During the summer of 2006, All Things Considered broadcast a series of stories dedicated to the role of the front porch in American life and literature.[5]

There are now thousands of (tongue-in-cheek) Professional Porch Sitters Unions in all fifty states of the U.S. and at least three other countries.[6]


Some more disconnected thoughts about porches:

There is not much more satisfying than chatting while sitting on a porch.

Greek Stoics agreed. And so they gathered at Athen's Stoa Poikile, meaning painted porch, to philosophize about the foundations of stoicism.

The Gullah people of Georgia and South Carolina painted their porch ceilings haint blue to trick ghosts and boo hags from entering their homes.

Fast forward to today, and we have a Porch Sitters Union in all fifty states.

The motto is just a suggestion, "Sit down a spell. That can wait." I love that.

Bring back the porch: The United State's unique architectural weapon against COVID-19.

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