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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oakland Span of Bay Bridge to Become Rental House

Posted By on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 1:42 PM

click to enlarge What the house would look like from the inside - BAY BRIDGE HOUSE PROJECT
  • Bay Bridge House Project
  • What the house would look like from the inside

When the old eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was demolished, most people probably assumed the remnants would just end up in a scrap yard somewhere. But David Grieshaber wasn't okay with that.

As we told you in November, Grieshaber and his organization, The Bay Bridge House Project, invited architectural students to submit original designs for what they'd like to see done with the Eastern span of the bridge. Although the winning design is awesome (it includes an indoor swimming pool), the BBHP wasn't able to turn it into a reality because it didn't meet the height requirement for buildings in the Bay Area. Instead, the current plan for the 11,000-square foot area is to transform it into a "multi-use space," which would include a caretaker unit, Airbnb apartment, and possibly a museum. "The idea is to build something iconic that looks like the bridge," Grieshaber said.

In case you don't know, Airbnb houses are actual houses that people rent out to vacationers -- except most of them aren't made out of parts that used to belong to a bridge.

Grieshaber wants the rental apartment to be Airbnb affiliated in order to keep the project entirely local. "Airbnb is a San Francisco-based company," he told The Guardian. "It was logical to utilize its service and have it involved." Also, people who rent out the house could "stay in the old bridge and look at the new one."

The new idea was inspired by Boston's Big Dig House, which was built entirely out of material from the demolished interstate 93 highway in Boston. Reusing parts from a pre-existing building saves resources -- and taxpayer -- dollars.

click to enlarge The current design for the Bay Bridge House - BAY BRIDGE HOUSE PROJECT
  • Bay Bridge House Project
  • The current design for the Bay Bridge House

Because of the Big Dig House, Grieshaber decided to make the Bay Bridge House "an eco and financially self-sustaining property, a property that didn't rely upon taxpayers to pay for its existence," he told us.

Additionally, Grieshaber intends for the Bay Bridge House to be non-profit, meaning whenever anyone rents out the multi-use space or the Airbnb apartment, all of the profits will be used to pay the expenses of the building. "Hopefully in 250 to 300 years from now, the building will still be around and paying for itself," he said.

The house will be built in honor of everyone involved in the initial building of the bridge. "The idea is to honor the people who built the bridge and the companies that have been involved in the historic bridge that we have had for the past 77 years," Grieshaber said.

If you want to volunteer for or contribute anything to the Bay Bridge House project, contact them to find out how to get involved.

Next time your relatives come to visit, they might be able to crash in the old Bay Bridge instead of a Motel 6. How cool would that be?

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Jessica Nemire

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