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The Front Porch Home in the 1800s & What We Can Learn From the Design and Decor

About this Exhibit:

The following images and videos will help you learn more about the artifacts inside the psychical building located at 900 13th Street, Plano, TX 75074 location next to the Stimpson - Drake Park in the historic Douglass Community. The Plano African American Museum provides a time capsule layout that helps visitors understand how people over 100 years ago in the community lived by displaying everyday tools, home decor, and a layout of furnishings.

For this exhibit:

  1. View the images

  2. Watch the videos that describe the images for a clear understanding of the item displayed

  3. Complete the Exhibit Activity & Questions


Part 1:

The images in this exhibit are from historic items that are part of the Plano African American Museum located in the historic Douglass Community. We've listed websites that provide details of the design styles found throughout the home.


Part 2:

Watch the Videos

About Video #1:

An example of renovating a historic home (like the Thornton Home). Example of homes built, preserved, and maintained during the Civil War

Provides context of preserving historic homes (like the Thornton House) as a time capsule.

About Video #2: When learning about the war, rarely do you hear about the impact that it has on the local civilians. In this episode, we're at the Carter House which was at the epicenter of some of the most violent fighting during the Battle of Franklin. Be sure to watch this one from beginning to end. What is there is simply unbelievable.

About Video #3:

Example of a historic tour and why the rooms are called different names. Although the rooms and the layout are different than the Thornton Home, it helps you understand the layout of homes during the 1800s. Many older homes have home delicate and artistic trims of wood and ironwork.

About Video #4:

A historic tour of Plano produced by the City of Plano in the late 1990s

Video #5:

Example of wallpaper installation for historic homes.

Part 3 Exhibit Activity & Questions:

  1. What type of exhibit does the PAAM have inside the physical museum?

  2. Why is it important to keep historic homes preserved?

  3. Who can fix, restore and preserve a historic home?

  4. Why is it important not to touch a time capsule exhibit with our hands?

  5. What can we learn about the styles of architecture from earlier homes?

  6. How were wallpapers from over 100 years ago applied?

  7. Why do older homes have a string hanging from wood in the interior?

  8. How were older homes insulated? What material was used?

  9. What type of design was normally found on the wallpaper and which areas of the home would the fanciest wallpaper reside?

  10. How was wallpaper made over 100 years ago?

  11. What type of tools were used to create a design on wood and wood trimmings?

  12. What type of home styles were popular between the 1800s - 1900s in North Texas?

  13. Where did the concept of the front porch come from and why is the front porch so important in American culture?

  14. Where did the concept of the front-porch originate?

  15. What does the front porch symbolize?


Plano African American Museum


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