10 July, 2008

The Original Garage Doors

This is the room that Ted is slowly morphing into his office, circa last fall, just before we closed. Um, so far all we've done is take down the groovy bit of fabric hanging over the window and the crappy insulation from the pipes and clean out a garbage bag's worth of dust and all the junk left behind by the POs. But I did promise Ted I would post a before photo so we could chronicle all the progress, as we'll be taking on some more serious work next week when we remove the ceiling boards.

And that pale green stage or platform or whatever it is in the center of the room? Turns out those are our original garage doors, or at least part of them, constructed of tongue-and-groove boards. Very cool.

There aren't very many of these obscenely heavy wooden garage doors left in Evanston. Our inspector said he only came across two or three similar ones in the last twenty years of home inspection. Er, one of those was for a house he inspected for us, an inspection that turned out to be a train wreck because--among other disasters--the garage didn't have a proper roof! That tarp is sitting on bare boards; we have no idea why it didn't have a real covering--and no, you really, really couldn't tell from the ground it didn't have a real roof, only when we got up there did we know for sure. (But it did still have the original chimney, which was somehow used to heat the old Model T Fords in winter, so that's something.) This is the house we fired our first agent over. Here are the pics of that garage, inside and out (the doors slid from side to side, rather than up):

We tried out the forearm forklifts to carry our doors out of Ted's office and back to the garage, but they are so unbelievably heavy, that when we got to the stairs I couldn't lift them high enough. They're sitting in the laundry room, waiting for my much-taller cousins to help Ted get them out of the basement.

The boards are in great shape, and we will probably disassemble the doors to salvage the boards for repair projects. Here's the unpainted side of one of them...

All right, I know that doesn't show them off very well. If I think about it, I'll try to get a replacement picture.


Amalie said...

We have those same garage doors. They were one of my favorite things about the house until I had to open and close them; the track has bent and fallen out of a rotting board and the thing drags the ground then comes off the track and I can't get it closed and have to call Adam out to fix it and he wants to know why I couldn't have gone through the little door and...well... You get the picture. There's money in the insurance settlement to "repair" the door, so I think we're going to salvage some wood and add to it as needed to build barn doors.

It will make life so much easier.

Jennifer said...

Those doors are terrific! Nice good wood, too.

I say leave it as a stage... :)

Joanne said...

Amalie, You make me glad our garage door was replaced with a more modern one already!:-)

Jennifer, There's enough drama around here already some days, we don't need a stage! LOL

Jennifer said...

What awesome doors. I would have a hard time not keeping them tucked away someplace. With all the history that Evanston has, to have one of the last remaining such doors, I don't know.

Joanne said...

Jen and Stan--I hear you; since I posted this, we have spotted a few more garage doors like this in our neighborhood, although their days are probably numbered.

We tried to think of an adaptive reuse for the whole door, but they're so, so heavy and big and awkward. But it does look like the tongue-and-groove boards of which they're made are the same size as the boards in our garage roof (not surprising). We do need to replace some of those boards because of carpenter ants, so I at least feel pretty good about using them elsewhere in the house, if we can.

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