These gaping car maws (usually located on the front of the house) were handy but not much to look at. Oddly enough, these auto deposits actually have an historical source. Porte cocheres (just the French translation makes it sound classier) were porch-like features of late 18th and 19th century mansions which permitted a carriage to pass under allowing the occupants to alight under cover. Using a salad dressing analogy, something obviously went wrong on the road from French to Ranch.
The automobile still tries to dominate the design of houses nowadays. As a matter of fact, the three car garage has become de rigueur. These annexes, however, tend to be elephantine in size and often dwarf the mass of the house itself. To overcome this, we often delegate one car to a porte cochere, allowing a more appealing and proportional two bay carriage house.
Most of our on-the-move clients really come to enjoy this casual auto drop-off device. It tends to create a breezeway at the front of the house and lends an air of open friendliness to the proceedings.
Following are some examples of our “carports” – a far cry from their suburban ranch roots.
Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley
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