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A typical 19th-century porte-cochère

A porte-cochère (/ˌpɔərt kˈʃɛər/), coach gate or carriage porch is a porch- or portico-like structure at a main or secondary entrance to a building through which a horse and carriage (or motor vehicle) can pass in order for the occupants to alight under cover, protected from the weather.

Example seen from behind at the Lockwood–Mathews Mansion, built starting in 1864 in Norwalk, Connecticut

The porte-cochère was a feature of many late 18th- and 19th-century mansions and public buildings. Well-known examples are at Buckingham Palace in London and at the White House in Washington D.C. Today a porte-cochère is often constructed at the entrance to public buildings such as churches, hotels, health facilities, homes, and schools where people are delivered by other drivers. Porte-cochères differ from carports in which vehicles are parked; at a porte-cochère the vehicle merely passes through, stopping only for passengers to depart or alight.

At the foot of the porte-cochère there are often a couple of guard stones to prevent the wheels of the vehicle from damaging the wall.


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