The Eugene P. Booze house, a “two-story American foursquare” with Colonial Revival detailing provides an excellent illustration of preservation fail, and thankfully, correction on inauthentic renovation (Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Historic Resources Inventory). The c. 1910 home in Mound Bayou is part of the recently named Mound Bayou Historic District. The outside porch columns are “tripled” while the interior are single, with an offset entry (B. D. Judd, 2013, with additional text by W. M. Gatlin, National Register of Historic Places nomination form).
Few architectural features evoke more romantic notions or do more to define a building’s historic character than the American porch….Each component, from handrail or baluster to column or post, enhances the architectural character of the porch. Alter or remove the porch and a historic building or streetscape can lose its visual integrity and historic authenticity. (Sullivan and Leeke, Preserving Historic Wood Porches)
In preserving historic buildings, it is important to understand the history and evolution of a particular structure and what features contribute to its historic character. This is especially applicable when working with historic porches since they usually are prominent features, significant to the character of a building.
…it is almost never appropriate to enclose a front porch on a historic building to create interior space…Enclosure of a historic porch can result in significant changes in the appearance and character of the building.
Wood porches have made an enduring contribution to our built environment. Porches are significant because of the special character they impart to a historic building and their role in our social and cultural history.
Categories: African American History, Delta, Historic Preservation, Mound Bayou
This is such a common muddling. Was there a common reason for this intervention? Could it be the advent of air-conditioning?
Most of what I found was that it was to use a porch year-round, or to reduce cold air entering the house.
I think that for a time porches lost their value as a place to sit, relax, visit with family and with passing neighbors. I’m glad to see this correction!
Isn’t it amazing to see how it transforms the house to remove that porch remodel?
Thanks for doing the before/after pictures side by side. It does show how the renovation took away from the house.
Thank you for this article and the photos. Eugene Parker Booze was my Great Uncle so it was a nice surprise finding this website.
Glad to see this corrected. It definitely does change the beauty of the old house