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America Rediscovers Its Love of the Front Porch

In the 20th century, porches couldn’t compete with TV and air conditioning. Now this classic feature of American homes is staging a comeback as something more stylish and image-conscious than ever before.
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Madison McVeigh/CityLab

Two years ago, Scott Doyon saw the chance to organize a kind of concert that was unheard of in the Atlanta metro area. It was a remarkably homey concert for a city, defined primarily by its venue: front porches.

Doyon, a spiky-haired former musician, thought maybe 25 bands would sign up. He got 130. Spectators hopped the train to Decatur, a streetcar suburb of Atlanta, by the thousands. More than 100 porches throughout Decatur’s historic Oakhurst neighborhood hosted bands. “Where we ended up, both for bands and people, was a number that wasn’t even on the pipe dream list,” he says. “I was completely blown away.”