At 115 years old, the carriage house at the Myers House & Garden on Alameda Avenue is showing its age. The makeup applied to the outside of the structure and its new roof hides the fact that the fragile building is, well, falling apart at the seams.
The cornice is rotted, allowing plants to intrude into the structure,” said Alameda Museum curator George Gunn, who is spearheading a fund drive a restore this small, but important part of the Meyers House and Garden’s property. Daylight intrudes into the building in places it shouldn’t, betraying just how fragile the building is. Gunn fears that the next big earthquake or even a strong wind could bring the building down. The carriage house needs a completely new foundation; the mud sill is rotted out.
We are working on listing the Meyers House & Gardens on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Gunn. “I hope to see this important part of the estate restored before we submit the application.”
Architect Henry Meyers designed the small building to house his carriage about 1899. “It was originally a small barn for the carriage. Meyers would have kept his horses at livery stable in town,” Gunn said. Fifteen years later, Meyers had purchased an automobile and he had a garage built on the other side of the house. The carriage changed its role in the Meyer’s household and housed the pump for the well and the tank for the fuel that heated the family home.
During his career Meyer designed more than 250 buildings; some of them evident today in Alameda. When you hear the carillon ringing at the Methodist Church on Central Avenue at Oak Street, or pass the stately white Presbyterian Church on Santa Clara Avenue at Chestnut Street, or enter the Posey Tube on the way to Oakland, take a moment. Remember Henry Haight Meyers and his legacy and think about donating some money to have his carriage house restored.
To help send a check payable to the Alameda Museum to the Alameda Museum, 2324 Alameda Ave., Alameda CA 94501. Write “Meyers House Carriage House” on the check. Any amount, big or small, will help restore this important element of Alameda’s only house museum. Your contribution is tax-deductible as permitted by law.
by Dennis Evanosky
Originally appeared in The Alameda Sun on June 26, 2014.