Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sitting on a "Stoop" to Sitting on a Porch......

I'm not in Brooklyn anymore Toto!
Definition of a Stoop:

A stoop can be a small porch, platform, or staircase leading from the sidewalk to the entrance of a building. The word stoop is derived from the Dutch, stoep, which is quite fitting: the architectural concept was imported to New York from the Netherlands by Dutch colonists.

Because they occupy a space between the street and private apartments inside, stoops were very important in the lives of ordinary New Yorkers. They were a place to escape from the stifling heat and close quarters of the tenement apartments, but they served many other functions: people used them as observation posts, political stumps, gossip centers, stages for showing off to the neighbors, and places to watch the world go by.


"Porches are as synonymous with American culture as apple pie. While not unknown in colonial times, they rose to nationwide popularity in the decades before the Civil War, and remained in fashion for almost one hundred years. Ironically, the very social and technological forces that made them both popular and possible were eventually responsible for their decline."

-- from Kahn, Preserving Porches

Sitting on a Stoop in Park Slopes South Brooklyn or a Limestone Porch in Southern Indiana is still looking out on street scenes and people, hearing accents, and seeing the bumps and warts of every day life.

I want to use this blog to record the amazing talents of the generations of limestone carvers and cutters. There will be photo's posted of beautiful buildings with ornate limestone and incredible statuary that I see all around me. There are stories and history that surround each of them and I will post this info as I collect it.

Blogging is new to me and I hope that you will be patient with my lack of know- how as I teach myself as I go along.