residential garage door fun facts

4 Fun Facts About Garages & Garage Doors

How much do you know about garages and garage doors?

If you’re like most, you probably haven’t given them much thought unless they need repaired or replaced. (Our Cleveland garage door company is your go-to for that!) But garages and garage doors have an interesting history, purpose, and place in modern society.

Doors are what we do. We enjoy sharing helpful – and fun – insights whenever we get the chance. Read on to learn fun garage facts.

1. Garages Have Been Around Since Way Before Cars

The word “garage” comes from the French word, “garer,” which means, “to shelter.”

The very first garages, at least as we think of them, probably date back to around 300 B.C., but maybe earlier. We know that the ancient Romans stored their chariots and wheeled carts in covered spaces. But modern garages didn’t really become popular until the automobile did. At first, cars were stored in converted carriage houses – sometimes next to actual horses. Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright created the first attached garage in Illinois in 1908. He called it a “carport.”

The first modern overhead garage door was invented in 1921. It was demonstrated a couple years later at the New York Automobile Show. C.G. Johnson, co-inventor of residential garage doors, is also credited with creating the first garage door opener, though that was some time later.

2. A Cleveland Garage Was Once Labeled the “Largest Garage in the World”

Some approach this claim with skepticism, but it was made in 1913 by the proprietors of the Euclid Square Garage, then located in downtown Cleveland. Built with $25,000 in capital, it took up the second floor of the Wigmore Coliseum on East 13th Street between Chester and Euclid Avenues. As noted in the publication “Horseless Age,” it was open to 500+ “pleasure and commercial vehicles of all types.”

The garage ultimately expanded by several floors. No more than a decade passed before it relinquished its title as “largest garage in the world,” as similar garages began cropping up all over the country.

3. NASA Has the World’s Largest Garage Door

There are many customization options when it comes to residential garage doors, but most single-car garages are 9-feet-wide by 7-feet-tall. Two-car garages are usually 16-feet-wide by 7-feet-tall.

But the largest garage door in the world is believed to be in Florida. At the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, the garage doors to the bay are 456-feet-tall. For context, the Statue of Liberty is 305-feet-tall. There’s no such thing as an “automatic garage door opener” with this behemoth. According to NASA, the doors take about 45 minutes to completely open or close.

4. Residential Garage Doors Reflect Increasingly Diverse Garage Uses

Once upon a time, garages were just for cars. They’re still used for that, of course. But with more than 82 million residential garages in the U.S., they’ve gained something of a unique cultural relevance.

Think about it:

  • Major companies like Disney, Dell, Nike, Mattel and Apple all got their start in a garage.
  • Several styles of music are named after the garage (garage rock, garage/house music, garage grunge, etc.). The Who, Metallica, and Nirvana all classified themselves as “garage bands” because of their origin stories.
  • Garages are used as storage rooms, gyms, offices, “man caves,” media rooms, semi-outdoor kitchens/BBQ/cookhouses, laundry facilities, art/crafting/work rooms, hangout spaces, etc.
  • 70% of homeowners with a garage say they use the garage door as the main entrance to their home, as opposed to their actual front door.

So whereas residential garage doors used to be an afterthought of a home, they’re increasingly considered a prominent feature. As our Cleveland garage door pros can attest, the growing options for design, style, materials, insulation, and security features reflect that.

If you have questions about the repair or replacement of your garage door, we can help!

Advance Door Co. provides commercial door products, services, repairs, and replacements to customers throughout Northeast Ohio, including Cleveland, Parma, and surrounding communities.

Additional Resources:

How the Garage Became America’s Favorite Room, Jan. 14, 2019, By Nikil Saval, The New Yorker

Largest garage in the world, the Euclid Square Garage, DFW Elite Toy Museum

More Blog Entries:

Cleveland Garage Door Repair Experts Help You Troubleshoot Common Problems, March 30, 2023, Cleveland Residential Doors Blog