Howard Hall Porch

This crazy porch has seen so many lives it clearly surpasses the 9 lives of the house cat!

Original porch 2005 porch
Earliest incarnation of the porch (left). The state of the porch in 2005 (right) (click to enlarge)

The unanimous opinion of the many experts that have visited Howard Hall is that the porch roof came later than the building of the house. In early photos from the 1890s you will see the lattice that was added to the lower porch, which probably functioned as a service area during this time. It was pristine, pure and beautiful in this stage.

The Woodburne
The Woodburne boarding house c. 1935 (click to enlarge)

So we can assume that sometime after the house was built, the porch was added on. Sometime after that, additions were built onto the house, including one at the North end of the porch in the 1930s. Terne tin was added onto the roof, and around the same time the home was converted into a boarding house.

Original porch Early 2000s porch
The porch during the 1950s and '60s. Note the enclosed beer garden (click to enlarge)

In the 50s, the lower porch was enclosed and a beer garden with windows was built. It must have been during this time that the brick columns on the lower level were removed, proabaly because they were falling apart. The new beer garden wall was framed and sided.

1990s porch 1990s porch
The porch in disrepair during the 1990s (click to enlarge)

The beer garden was torn out during the 1970s, shortly before the house fell into disrepair. By the 90s it was practically falling down. In the early 2000s the house was bought as a potential money making scheme for resale. The work was daunting, and the porch received its biggest blow: they burned all the columns on a pile in the back yard.

Digging new footings Brick columns
We dug new footings (left) and replaced the brick columns (right) (click to enlarge)

When we purchased the home in 2005, we began the search for columns to replace the ones that had been burned during the 90s. After years of searching, we finally found them in the spring of 2012. Over the course of two years, beginning in 2009, we rebuilt the lower porch, dug in major footings, and replaced the brick columns.

Fabricating new beam Original beams
Fabricating new beam (left). Original porch beams (right) (click to enlarge)

We replaced the front beam (which had totally rotted off the house), as well as the entire decking.

Soffits Columns
Soffit work (left). These columns were carved from a single tree trunk and bored in the same fashion as water pipes (right) (click to enlarge)

The capitals and bases for the new columns are currently being fabricated out of mahogany, so they should last for a while. We are about to start the soffit work in anticipation of getting true columns and the roof in.

There's a pointing job that has to be done next as we had to jack the porch and pull the roof back tighter to the building. This required opening up the pocks in the stone wall that all the framing sits in, which now have to be closed before we begin working on fixing the roof structure.



Howard Hall Porch


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