My recent post about the trouble with the downspout and pavement at the front of the house reminded me of another topic I haven’t posted on yet: the front steps.
Although I don’t have a picture to prove it, I’m certain my house originally had street-facing front steps with brick wing walls on the sides. This isn’t a big stretch to imagine– lots of bungalows have steps like that. Currently, the steps point to the side and have a landing area outside the porch door. The landing and steps are just a big concrete block topped with an iron railing. The hedge in front of the steps conceals their ugliness but also puts an unwelcoming barrier between the street and the front door.
I’m convinced about how the front steps used to look because the original rear steps (now covered by a deck and trellis) have brick wing walls. Here are the old back steps when they were temporarily exposed during last summer’s trellis project:
At the front of the house, there is also some evidence of where the stone or concrete cap for one of the wing walls used to be:
On a walk through the neighborhood this summer, I noticed a very nice bungalow nearby that has had it’s front steps and wing walls replaced. Although they did an excellent job matching the brick for the wing walls, you can see a slight difference in brick wear and mortar appearance at the intersection between the old and new work.
I suspect these replacement steps may also have included an unoriginal stoop outisde the front door– the wing walls look a little taller than usual where they meet the house.
Compared to my sideways, hedge-hidden steps, these restored front steps with their wing walls and planters are a dramatic improvement in friendliness and historicity. That’s the look I’d like to restore to my house someday.