John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Hint: Think of Transformers.
There is a four-car parking garage hidden somewhere in the above picture. Take a couple seconds to search for it, then scroll below for a video unveiling the illusion.
If it helps, here is a wider view:
I spotted the secret garage on Tuesday evening thanks to the "No Parking" sign and the sloped pavement leading into the house, seemingly for no reason. The strangely lit windows were another giveaway, as they highlight angled poles inside that would make sense in a fifth-dimensional strip club.
A bit of Googling reveals that this home, located in the Upper Haight on the 1700 block of Oak Street, was briefly famous in 2011 for its unusual solution to a zoning problem. Writes the company that helped build the thing, Beausoleil Architects:
The front wall of the ground floor had a three sided bay window, with windows on each face, matching the bays on the levels above, and the city planning department had recently started enforcing its mandate to limit changes to the character of historic building’s front facades – including conversion of bay windows into garage doors....
Corey, a mechanical engineer by education and a problem solver by nature, conceived the idea of converting the walls of the bay window into door panels that would fold into the garage space to allow cars to enter, and then fold back into place, keeping the historic appearance intact....
While not entirely pleasing to the city planners, who consider cars to be the spawn of the devil, the new parking will no doubt be very useful to the tenants, at least until we can devise our next trick – teleportation!
Man, do people have a lot of money in this town. If you're ready to have your mind blown, here goes: