Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Open Houses at Gaiety Hollow Opportunity to Plot Better Bike Parking

Over at the Gaiety Hollow blog, there's an announcement about an set of three Open Houses so you can acquaint yourself with the house and garden of Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver.

Shows the alley, but says use Mission Street
The first one is this weekend. They will be:
  • Sunday August 9th from 2-5 p.m.
  • Saturday August 15th from 7:30-10:00 a.m.
  • Sunday September 13th from 2-5 p.m.
In the photo and announcement, there's an interesting mismatch between the image and the instructions, though, that points to one of the questions about the museum project.

The photo in the blog post shows the house and garden from the alley.

But the invitation says to enter from Mission Street:
Wander, absorb, reflect. Garden only…the house will be closed. Please enter from Mission Street…(545 Mission Street…right across from Bush’s Pasture Park.)
There's some ambiguity, really, about which entry should be primary. The formal house address is on Mission Street, so that is the official primary entry, but if you are on foot or on bike, the alley gate and entry might be more attractive, especially as it opens directly onto the business part of Gaiety Hollow, the garden.

You might also recall that there is a question about where to locate bike parking.

The foliage on the right would be cleared for racking
under the current, approved proposal
The current plan calls for bike parking on the right of the driveway, seemingly requiring removal of some shrubbery, and possibly with insufficient clearance of the passenger side door zone.

Alley location with less than 4 feet of clearance
Asserting that racking in that location would violate "the historic integrity of the garden," instead the Conservancy proposes bike parking on the alley, adjacent to the hedge opening with the fencing here on the right.

This proposal almost certainly offers insufficient clearance, and it is also less secure than the driveway location would be. (See here for more detailed discussion.)

So there's an opportunity to find a better site for bike parking.

If you go to an Open House, take your bike, and ask them where you should park it. And use that as a conversational opening to explore for a better site. This seems like the kind of thing that the "wisdom of the crowd" might better solve than architects or gardeners or historians just looking at a site plan. It seems to me that several people walking the grounds with this question on their mind greatly increases the probability of finding a good solution!

(It's likely there won't be a good place for bike parking, so the nearest racks I can think of is at the "Crooked House" playground by Bush Barn. There's a wheel-bender and a wave rack on either side.)

Here's a musical accompaniment that seems apt. Ethel Smyth is a too-obscure British composer of opera, choral works, and some chamber music. The second half of her string quartet of 1912 was written under a strong influence of the Suffrage movement. I have no idea what kind of music Lord and Schryver actually liked, but it is easy to imagine a quartet playing this in the garden or house twenty years later.

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