Historic garages in the St. George/New Brighton Historic District and the St. Paul's Avenue/Stapleton Heights Historic District are protected under New York City's landmarks law. Many in Stapleton Heights were built in the 1920s, in rear yards or nestled into streetside terraces.
Numerous historic garages on Staten Island remain in active use, and some display well-maintained original details, including doors, hardware, windows, and clapboard or wood shingles.
This well-preserved garage on Albion Place in Port Richmond is one example.
Many owners have "modernized" early 1900s garages, changing the architectural character with the replacement of original wood doors, siding and windows. In some cases, a mix of new and old is visible, such as the stunning historic window in this garage on Oakland Avenue in West Brighton.
"Our house was built in 1925, with a two-car garage with clay roof tiles, recently repaired. I was able to find a company in Ohio that still manufactures them. Many of the roofers wanted to rip out the tiles and replace them with vinyl.
Our garage door has been replaced but the side door and windows are original."
--Patty Ribeiro, Silver Lake
"Several years ago, I began to notice that our carriage house [circa 1907] looked crooked, listing to port. I was having trouble opening the large sliding door, and one window had cracked. I was in a panic, thinking the worst.
But with competent housewrights we were able to have the building pushed back into place, jacked up and a new partial foundation laid. She is straight once again."
--Tina Kaasman-Dunn, Tottenville
Some surviving detached garages stand in advanced states of deterioration. One reason is because many of these structures "were originally built without a foundation, just a slab on the ground.
"The result is predictable. The weight of the garage walls eventually cracks the slab. The walls start to sag, then the roof. Finally, the door jams and stops working," one builder notes.