“I believe that change is a great thing. In fact, it’s the only real absolute in the world.”

– Philip Johnson, AIA

The Owner Gateways Story

The Owner Gateways story is about change and the evolution of an idea. In 2019, I began a quest to research the history of residential design and construction in an effort to find the answers to several questions that I had been contemplating.

My research took me to the mid 1800’s when many home owners used horses and carriages for their daily transportation and kept them in a barn or carriage house adjacent to their home.

At that time the primary entrance and exit to the home was through the front doorway, and from a design perspective it was also the focal point of the home. It was the ‘Main Entryway’.

By the early 1900’s the automobile had created a transportation revolution in America. It became clear that a barn was not the best place to park an automobile so architects began designing a new space that was to be called a garage. The word garage was introduced to the English in 1902 which originated from the French word garer, meaning shelter.

In 1908 the architect Charles Harrison Townsend was commenting in The Builder magazine that "for the home of the car, we very largely use the French word garage”.

Then in 1921, an American named C.G. Johnson invented the overhead garage door which became the industry standard, and still is today.

There are now more than 69 million single family homes in the United States and approximately 55% of them have an attached garage.

That is good news for the automobile but not so much for the owner of the home. This is where my aforementioned quest for answers comes into play...

• Why are modern garages still being designed like they were back in the early 1900’s?

• Why must home owners enter and exit through the laundry room or mud room?

• Why are modern garage spaces too small to accommodate most automobiles?

• Why do modern garages not resemble the home’s interior and exterior?

• Why are modern garages equipped with overhead doors that were designed 100+ years ago?

• Why are modern garages not equipped with storage cabinets?

• Why do modern garages have bare cement floors?

• Why do modern garages have such poor lighting?

By 2021, I had the answers to all of my questions which then led me to the creation of Owner Gateways LLC. Our corporate mission is to reimagine residential spaces in ways that will improve the lives of homeowners, while supporting the efforts of architects, manufacturers and builders around the globe. Sometimes change can benefit everyone.

– Michael Simpson, Founder and President

“We are very excited to have partnered with Owner Gateways,
the future looks very promising.”

– Eric Olsen, President of Olsen Custom Homes

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