Bay Bridge House takes final design to meetings to gain project support 

click to enlarge The three-story Bay Bridge House would include a loft for a couple, rental space for Airbnb and public space. The site has not been determined. - COURTESY RENDERING BAYBRIDGEHOUSE.ORG
  • Courtesy rendering BayBridgeHouse.org
  • The three-story Bay Bridge House would include a loft for a couple, rental space for Airbnb and public space. The site has not been determined.
In the shadows of the demolition of the Bay Bridge’s old eastern span, David Grieshaber has been working to get various officials behind his vision to construct a building out of pieces that would otherwise be scrapped.

With a design now solidified, meetings with government agencies on the project are beginning, he said, starting this week with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The Bay Bridge House started as just an idea when Grieshaber, 45, drove across the old eastern span in 2012. As the vision evolved, designs for the environmentally conscious structure were sought through a competition that led to the final design, published on BayBridgeHouse.org.

The three-story house would include a loft for Grieshaber and his wife, a space for an Airbnb and public space, on a yet-to-be-determined plot of land with a view of the new Bay Bridge eastern span. Last week, he had four meetings with potential investors.

“Everyone has been very ecstatic about the drawings, whereas they couldn’t visualize the idea before in its full light, and said they find it very incredible,” said Grieshaber, who is the project co-founder along with his wife.

The final bridge house design incorporates some aspects from the design competition winner but looks like an intact truss section from the outside. The upper and lower decks of the bridge would preserve their look but be closer together, with dimensions of 45 feet tall, 132 feet long and 68 feet wide.

Over the holidays, Grieshaber said he confirmed that he could acquire a section of the truss portion of the old span that he said is key for the project.

“We now know we can and we’re very happy about that,” he said of being able to get the piece. “That was a big hang-up before.”

The next several months will involve dozens of meetings with government officials, investors and volunteers. Grieshaber said the Bay Bridge House can be built within six months of acquiring the bridge pieces.

There are other Bay Area residents looking to save sections of the old eastern span, which is currently under demolition. Last month, Karen Cusolito, founder of American Steel Studios in West Oakland, started BayBridgeSteel.org urging that the bridge’s “vintage steel [be] preserved for the creation of public art and civic installations, such as bus shelters, park benches, municipal lighting and hundreds of other applications for all to enjoy.”

Grieshaber does not see that as competition.

“We’re actually communicating back and forth and sharing ideas,” he said. “Hopefully we all get parts of the bridge and we’ll all be good and happy.”

About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Bio:
Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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