The leisure-class image of awnings continued post-war. When I was a girl in the 1960s and ’70s, the houses that sported window awnings in my tract-housing neighborhood looked fancy—especially if the awning was monogrammed in swirly script, like the letter D on a house nearby. Thirty years later, the awnings have disappeared. I still miss them on visits home. Did the “D” family move? Did they pass away? Did they want window boxes instead?
In their heyday, awnings were special enough that whole businesses were devoted to their care. Longtime Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, homeowner Phyllis Green keeps her awnings in place, but admits they’re more difficult to maintain now.
“Awnings were a big deal in the old days,” she recalls. “People had contracts with companies; they would install your awnings in the spring and come again in the late fall to remove and store them for the winter. I miss that.”