View Full Version : Bicycle Sheds----a lost architecture?

John Kasaian
22-Mar-2007, 08:52
At least in Fresno, they are. I've been out trying to capture on 127 film (don't ask!) the places I remember when growing up. One trophy the 'got away' from my Brownie Reflex weapon of choice is the bicycle shed at my first elementary school. It was a lovely green structure built of timber and roofed with (with what? my memory fails me. Perhaps asphalt shingles?Corrugated metal?) It was important because when we would be old enough to ride our bikes to school (2nd Grade? 3rd Grade?) we'd be able to park our steeds under the protective covering---a subject worthy of a 1st grader's contemplation if ever there was!.

I'm wondering if you know of any bicycle sheds in your area worth photographing? Or have they pretty much been eliminated from the landscape?


22-Mar-2007, 09:03
back in primary school we had more modern lockups - huge metal spindles with the typical metal frames sticking out, for wedging the tyre into. Unfortunately there weren't many on the two spindles, and kids rode furiously into school to get there early enough for a place on the 'cool' one.

The school has since been closed by the council and I'm not sure the fate of the site

Kermit Burroughs
22-Mar-2007, 09:28
I've never seen such a thing! We just had the typical "A" shaped bike racks where you lock your front tire.

22-Mar-2007, 09:29
We never had such fancy stuff. Pile the bikes beside the second wing of the school, and if it rains, too bad.

Terence McDonagh
22-Mar-2007, 09:58
I lament the loss of one of my elementary schools in Somerville, MA. It had winding, wood stair cases that spiralled up three stories, murals of the medieval unicorn tapestries in the hallways, a huge mural in the principal's office, of Washington crossing the Delware, and my favorite part, the cloak rooms at the back of each classroom. They had tall windows that stretched up to the 12' or 13' ceilings, wood paneling, a wooden bunch running down one side, with wood pegs running down the opposite side.

Ironically, the building was fully renovated just before it was demolished to make way for a new prison-looking elemntary school.

Brian C. Miller
22-Mar-2007, 10:10
I've only attended industrial-type elementary schools.

Welcome to the education factory. You will be educated. What we are doing is education. Do not be creative. Do not be intelligent. You will submit and obey.

Pat Kearns
22-Mar-2007, 10:40
John, we didn't have shelters for our bikes just the galvanized bike rack subject to the elements. In the rain they got wet, in the sun they got HOT and you didn't sit on the seat. I applaud your choice in format.:D

22-Mar-2007, 11:08
Having gone past the school on the way to the gym, I looked out for the bike spindle/rack things. They're tiny.

Funny how perspective alters with age :)

Ours were left on the edge of the playground. no protection from wind/rain

Brian Ellis
22-Mar-2007, 21:55
We walked to school. It was a Catholic school. The nuns' theory was the greater the hardship the better for your immortal soul.

Greg Lockrey
22-Mar-2007, 22:05
We walked to school. It was a Catholic school. The nuns' theory was the greater the hardship the better for your immortal soul.

Same here. Navy bootcamp had nothing on Sister Eldephonse.:eek:

C. D. Keth
23-Mar-2007, 11:21
We had the squiggly-type bike racks, made of painted iron. I don't remember ever seeing a bicycle shed, since you mention it.

Louie Powell
23-Mar-2007, 11:48
Yikes - talk about resurrecting long lost memories!

Now that you mention it, I do vaguely recall a bicycle shed at the south end of North Short Elementary School in Jacksonville, FL. A quick check with Google Earth shows a separate structure in about the location that I remember, but my sense is that the building that is there now is much larger than the bicycle shed that I recall.

Haven't been back there in almost 40 years!

John Kasaian
23-Mar-2007, 12:03

It is interesting that so far you (from Florida) and I (from California) are the only two who recollect bicycle sheds and both in temerate states. I'd think bicycle sheds would have been more commonplace in areas of more extreme weather! Does this qualify them as a unique, regional type of architecture? And why?

Louie Powell
23-Mar-2007, 13:29
John -

Perhaps it's because riding a bicycle is not very practical in the snow, so only those schools where kids might use bicycles year round invested in sheds.

Or perhaps it because it was just a really antique practice and only us old farts remember it.

John Kasaian
23-Mar-2007, 14:04
Or perhaps it because it was just a really antique practice and only us old farts remember it.

Hey, I resemble that!:D

Eric James
23-Mar-2007, 14:27
At the University of Washington they have lockable single bike lockers for faculty and staff on the Health Sciences Campus - pretty handy during the rainy season.

Two years ago, the Anchorage Museum of Art had a featured exhibit about Quonset huts I knew of them but never saw any around. After I took in the exhibit I started seeing them everywhere!

Ralph Barker
23-Mar-2007, 15:12
None of the schools in Bakersfield, CA had covered parking for bikes that I can recall - just a wooden structure tall enough to handle those large front wheels. ;)

Robert Hughes
23-Mar-2007, 17:04
The Montgomery County, MD Public School system forbids its students from riding bicycles to school, due to the increased likelihood of traffic accidents. I can't even count the number of times I rode my bike to school, but my daughter has to take the bus, even though she's only a half mile away. On the other hand I'd be scared to try riding a bike around here - way too much traffic nowadays.

25-Mar-2007, 13:26
The school I attended In Caledonia,NY had a bike shed. I believe it was erected when the school was built in the late '40s. It was still there 35 years ago when I graduated, but was little used and becoming quite decrepit. I believe it was finally torn down when the school built an addition and renovated the grounds.