landscapes of mobility

Garage Examples

Valencia Row

These 1870s-era Italianate row houses on Valencia illustrate the impact of automobility on the built architectural environment. The house to the left still retains its original front yard and landscaping, while the the front yard of the center house was paved over to accommodate a driveway and garage, and the front yard set-back of the house to the right was replaced with a detached garage.

Valencia Storefront

Minimum parking requirements mandate off-street spaces even on busy commercial corridors with heavy pedestrian traffic. One example of this is the new three-unit housing development on the 1000 block of Valencia Street. Residential units on this stretch of Valencia are almost entirely mixed use with ground floor retail, yet, this new development has a garage fronting the street, not retail. The result is unnecessary mixing of automobiles in pedestrian space and the loss of potential storefront space.

Eliana Garage

The beauty salon to the left was originally a detached garage of the two-unit building to the right. After the detached garage was converted to commercial use in 1957, a new garage was inserted in the building base.

triple bay

A garage was carved from the building base of the unusual triple bay window Stick in 1923. Its original double-doors were later replaced with a roll-up garage door.

garage to dwelling

A housing unit inserted in a former garage space. The original, obsolete curb cut remains.

garage stairs

A cluster of Stick cottages with garages inserted under angled stairs. This garage typology was somewhat uncommon within the study area.


A business converted this garage space into a wig salon, yet the business owner still feels a strong sense of entitlement to the curb cut fronting the building. Photos posted on the doors show an automobile entering the space, although such entry was staged and never occurs.

1964 duplex

Since 1955, minimum parking requirements for most neighborhoods in San Francisco (including the study area) mandate a minimum of one off-street parking space per unit in new residential developments. This 1964 duplex is fronted by a double-wide garage door (and an extra wide curb cut).  Double-width garage doors or multiple garage doors entrances were found on nearly all buildings constructed in the 1950s-1960s.


%d bloggers like this: