Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lakeside Cottage Architecture, pt. 10

Early 20th century garages

It’s rare that I can’t find a topic on the internet by googling a few sets of words, but I think I’ve found one: the architectural history of the American garage. The garage as a piece of America's towns and cities is now about 100 years old--and the earliest are disappearing--except here, where time occasionally stands still or slows down. American Garage Magazine (online) reports the Robie House (Frank Lloyd Wright) was one of the earliest to have a garage in 1906.

Lakeside is a good petri dish for this research. As Midwestern towns go, Lakeside isn’t very old, having been founded in 1873 as a summer campground then growing into a resort with a few permanent residents. For about the first 50 years of its existence, visitors to the Christian campground arrived either by boat, or by rail from Sandusky or Toledo. When a bridge was made across the bay, people began coming by automobile in the 1920s. Rail passenger service ended in 1930 due to drastic losses in passenger ticket sales.

I lived in two small Illinois towns in the 1940s and 1950s and many garages had previously been small carriage houses or barns. Lakesiders didn’t arrive by carriage and left their horses at home so few needed a stable, although some of the local permanent residents probably had horses. Lakeside also didn't have alleys, like the cities and small towns of Ohio where garages for houses were accessible.

Although I'm not sure why summer residents wanted garages, I'm guessing the automobile in the 20s wasn't as durable as today. In the 1920s, garages were first located some distance from the house there being some fear of the gasoline engine. I'm calling the first group six lights over three panels for the door style.

These little cuties with different roof styles both have six panes over three panels in doors that swing forward. The one on the left seems to have the original siding. Both are quite a distance from the street.

This is an early "attached" garage--same door style, but added to the kitchen lean to which had been added to the basic cottage. Early cottages didn't have kitchens or bathrooms.

Same door style, but much bigger building. Also, no visible drive-way which is the case for many garages in Lakeside which haven't seen a car in years.

It's hard to find original siding in Lakeside--it's been wrapped in vinyl siding, but here's a home and garage, 6 over 3, both with original siding.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the passenger had to get out first in that first photo?

Anonymous said...

It's painful to say your right about anything, but you are right that blogs about garages are rare to never.