Monday, April 25, 2011

Concession to Cars

The garage door facing First Street was the subject of much discussion during the Historic Preservation Commission's review of the Galvan Partners' latest construction project. Some members of the community felt the garage should access the alley, as garages in Hudson traditionally do, but Galvan Partners, although having an alternative plan, were adamant about leaving the garage door at the front of the building, believing that it would improve the house's marketability. In the end, the HPC approved the project as proposed with the stipulation that the garage door used be "historic in appearance."

This morning a reader who follows Gossips while in Asia told us about an innovation garage door she saw in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, which had been introduced into the facade of a Victorian townhouse. There's a video here that shows how the disappearing garage door works.

Garage door closed
Garage door open


  1. Besides the fact that the door opens onto First Street instead of the ally, my concern is that we will lose a parking space. The lower end of Union is already crowded and now there will be additional houses of which only one has off-street parking provided and that for only one car. Many houses have two cars since it takes at least two incomes to pay the taxes, motgage and the cost of renovation.

  2. I just watched the video of how the magic car doors open. It seems once you pull into the garage, the doors will need to stay open. How will the doors close once an automobile is inside?
    The large right side opens into the garage. Won't the car block that door from closing?

  3. Wouldn't that be a giant blooper if it were true!

    Actually, Marty, the post that follows the video explains that this isn't a single-car slip, but a rather extensive parking garage that accommodates four cars--one for each of the apartments in the building.

    "The bottom floor of the building, a historic Victorian apartment house, had a hodgepodge of storage rooms, utility spaces and an ancient studio apartment shoehorned between a dozen wood posts. The original brick foundations were underfoot. The project structural engineer, Don David of Double D Engineering determined that as part of upgrading the seismic strength of the structure they could get rid of the columns and the partitions, build new concrete footings, and create a clean open garage space."

  4. I did read the copy under the video and knew it was a 4 car space. But Eric's house is just a single space so obviously this idea, as wonderful as it looks, would never work. I thought this idea was being mentioned as an option for the Galloway house so it could look historical. Guess I was wrong.

  5. No, it was just meant to show what great lengths people go to on other communities to achieve their goals while protecting historic fabric. While there is no historic fabric involved in Galloway's project, eliminating a garage door in the facade of a building could have been easily achieved by simply having the car enter the garage from the alley instead of the street.

  6. If cars should enter their garages via the alley,
    why then did HPC approve the project as proposed?
    And then stipulate that the garage door used be historic in appearance if there is no historic fabric to the house. Everything seems very strange with this project.