Wilmington Design Standards for Historic Districts and Landmarks

6 5 4 3 2 1 Standards for Building Changes Design Standards WILMINGTON HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND LANDMARKS 69 7 Porches and entrances are important elements of a building. Their prominent position establishes the character and architectural style of the house. In the late 18th century they were added to southern folk houses , providing shelter from the sun and frequent storms. As construction and building styles changed, so did the porches. They were sometimes called “piazzas” after the Italian word for “ plaza .” They embellished mansions and cottages and were frequently changed to keep up with the most recent stylistic trends. Wilmington’s historic districts have a wide variety of porches and entrances. From the simple vernacular cottage to high-style residences, every building has a porch. Two- story porches enhance 19th century mansions overlooking the river. Porches with square posts and classical entablatures complement Greek Revival -style houses, while the bracketed porches of Italianate homes have chamfered columns and sometimes cast iron posts. Deep wrap-around porches with turned columns and decorative spandrels embellish late 19th century Queen Anne -style houses. The facades of large Neoclassical buildings are generally dominated by full height porches with Ionic or Corinthian capitals . However, in Wilmington more modest examples of the style have one story full width porches. Colonial Revival style houses have small pedimented entrances. Prairie-style houses in the Carolina Heights/Winoca Terrace District have hipped roof porches with sturdy brick or battered supports, while Wilmington’s many bungalows have recessed porches with short stubby columns resting on massive piers or solid balustrades . Suggested Maintenance and Repair Porches deteriorate more rapidly because of constant exposure. Inspect and maintain porches, entrances, and steps on a routine basis to avoid deterioration: • Maintain a sound paint coat and ensure joints are sealed. • Maintain a proper slope on porch fl oors to ensure water run-off. • Maintain gutters and downspouts . • Monitor gutters and downspouts on a regular basis. The porch fl oors of the nineteenth and early 20th century buildings are tongue-and-groove and slope away from the house to allow for water run-off. Balustrades were typically lower by today’s standards (32 inches) and in general re fl ected the style of the columns. Square spindles were commonly used on balustrades until the middle of the 19th century when they were replaced by more ornate turned posts. After the turn of-the-century, there was a return to introduce square spindles. The structural supports of early ceilings were often exposed with a painted fi nish. By mid-19th century, it was popular for ceilings to have a tongue-and-groove board fi nish. 3.6 Porches and Entrances Graystone Inn 100 South 4rd Street Source: City of Wilmington