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San Francisco's old Bay Bridge, recycled as an Airbnb rental?

Posting in Architecture
Last year, the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic. But with a new shiny portion of the bridge comes the end of an era for the now retired portion of the east span of the Bay Bridge. Demolition is now underway

And while many cities are finding innovative uses for old infrastructure, much of the bridge's steel and concrete is expected to be shipped to China. But Bay Area resident David Grieshaber is working on a plan to give at least some of the old Bay Bridge a second life. 

The idea: turn scraps from the bridge into a house. Something like this:
 
Bay_Bridge_House_Design_front1-805x525.jpg
 
But not just any house. Grieshaber envisions renting out The Bay Bridge House using the San Francisco-based resident rental service Airbnb, according to Fast Company. Income generated from the rental will be used to run an on-site museum about the bridge. As the Bay Bridge House website explains, the ultimate goal is to preserve the bridge's history:

[A] piece of our history will be gone forever. Some of the bridge should remain behind for future generations to enjoy. There are plans for pieces in Gateway Park, maybe a pier with a view where the bridge once was and even talks of pieces in a museum. We think that something more creative should be done with some of the scrap. Let’s use a few small sections and create the most modern self-sustaining housing and eco multi-use space in the world.

But dreaming up that vision might just be the easiest part. The Bay Bridge House project has already chosen a design, called Hanging House, from designers at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture. 

The real challenge will be overcoming the "bureaucratic nightmare" of seeing a project like this through. According to Fast Company, that includes finding a 10,000 square foot lot of land, in San Francisco no less, with a view of the new bridge.

Grieshaber is not a man I envy.


— By on February 24, 2014, 12:43 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure