Homeowners who live in a historic area like Brooklyn or San Francisco often come up against an annoying problem: If your home is declared a historic landmark, you get bragging rights, but you also get financial headaches. There are strict rules about what you’re allowed to do with your home, because you can’t alter what makes it so special. So routine maintenance can become an expensive headache.
And forget making a major change that’d make your life infinitely easier and solve problems that weren’t even on the horizon when that cramped, old-timey place was first built!
Except hang on -- this architectural firm made a very, very cool James Bond-style change to a building that kept the charm of a Victorian building intact while leaving room for an automatically opening garage door into their five-car garage. You have to see it to believe it.
The building is in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood, where parking is at such a premium that I’ve had to give up on brunch and go home after circling for 45 minutes.
The building’s downstairs contained nothing but a crappy, poorly lit studio apartment, some gross storage cubes, and possibly some mouse poop. Its owners wanted to turn the useless space into gold: four parking spaces. But the city’s planning department didn’t allow changes to “the character of historic buildings’ front facades.”
The idea was simple in concept and difficult, but not impossible, in practice. The original wood and glass were removed and placed onto door panels, a steel framework was added, and hydraulic activators were installed to rotate the doors on hinges when the garage door opens. Quite amazing!
Of course, after all that work, couldn’t they get a nicer “no parking” sign?
Do you think this is more James Bond, Austin Powers, or Get Smart? And do you love it?
Image via YouTube