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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE CITY OF RUINS AND ROSES, c. 1930

Oaks Aplenty: 1904

Oaks Aplenty: 1904

Circa 1904. "Daytona, Florida -- Magnolia Avenue." Where oaks and palms abound. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Partially screened

Screens are obvious on the near house, over the guy in the rocker, and the screened washing porch in the next house. They do seem to be missing on some of the open windows in that house, though.

A few old oaks

Survive along Magnolia Avenue but there seems to be no trace of any of these grand houses today. A perusal of Google Street View shows many of the flat ranch house style of the 1960s and one might wonder whether the severe visit of Hurricane Donna in 1960 eliminated or damaged those lovely structures.

Tree wrap

That tree in the middle of the photo has more vines coiling around it than I have seen on trees in river bottom lands.

Assumptions

I remember being in houses very much like this when I was small. In hot weather they were great, the huge roof structures kept the hot roofs away from the ceiling, and the tall ceilings and windows let hot air rise and escape.
The biggest issue by far? No screens, and therefore flies and bats. Flies love horse dung!

Au contraire!

To catch any hint of a breeze double hung windows opened on top on the second and third floors (you can clearly see this on the white house in the middle), open dormer windows, and likely transoms over interior doors, with at least one large open stairway for stack effect, make this design as practical as any for the climate (short of an open treehouse-type). People now don't seem to realize that windows are for ventilation, not just venues for "window treatments", and that high ceilings (and multiple stories) really help in hot climates. Having owned a foursquare in a climate with summers and winters, I'd say they are more practical for hot climates than cold, if you don't depend on the typical American oversized HVAC.

Stuffy Victorian in Fla

Funny how the Northerners imported their same housing styles to the deep south without realizing how impractical they were in so far as dealing with the natural local climates. The oppressive heat and humidity in summer must have made those upper floors a veritable steam bath. I also imagine the ornate woodwork and paint alone on the exterior of these homes would have suffered in no time. Not to mention a termite's dreamland.

[Northerners wouldn't have been using their Florida homes in the summer. -tterrace]

 
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