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Puzzle door


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The agent challenged me today to see if I could figure out how to open the basement door (outside access only). Pre-warned that something was up, and seeing the padlock hasp at the "hinge side" and the extra handle, I had no problem even though it was a bit jammed in the opening. Evidently she had struggled with the thing for a long time before working it out. I do wonder if would have had the same experience without the warning.

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Here's an interesting project from a few years back. This is a multifamily apartment building intended for use with mentally handicapped residents. The owners & architect anticipated resistance from neighbors during the planning stages of the project so they took pains to make the building exterior look like townhomes, complete with hinged gates, concrete entry steps, & individual doors on each of the "townhomes."

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Each of these entry doors is, in reality, false. They're just nailed up on the walls. In fact on the other side of these "entry" doors are the back sides of the tub/shower units in those apartments. However, the illusion was really quite good. In fact, toward the end of construction, newspapers & various fliers began to appears on the porches in front of each door.

Unfortunately, when the time came for the City to approve the Certificate of Occupancy, there was a snag. Part of the CO approval involves a visit from the local fire department. As soon as the fire chief saw the false doors, he pitched a fit. No one had thought about the effect that false doors would have on emergency services personnel. Precious seconds, indeed precious minutes could be wasted.

The final solution was to label each & every door with a sign that says, "False Door," which kind of ruined the effect.

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Here's an interesting project from a few years back. This is a multifamily apartment building intended for use with mentally handicapped residents. The owners & architect anticipated resistance from neighbors during the planning stages of the project so they took pains to make the building exterior look like townhomes, complete with hinged gates, concrete entry steps, & individual doors on each of the "townhomes."

Click to Enlarge
tn_2010108163755_A.jpg

49.25 KB

Each of these entry doors is, in reality, false. They're just nailed up on the walls. In fact on the other side of these "entry" doors are the back sides of the tub/shower units in those apartments. However, the illusion was really quite good. In fact, toward the end of construction, newspapers & various fliers began to appears on the porches in front of each door.

Unfortunately, when the time came for the City to approve the Certificate of Occupancy, there was a snag. Part of the CO approval involves a visit from the local fire department. As soon as the fire chief saw the false doors, he pitched a fit. No one had thought about the effect that false doors would have on emergency services personnel. Precious seconds, indeed precious minutes could be wasted.

The final solution was to label each & every door with a sign that says, "False Door," which kind of ruined the effect.

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tn_2010108164653_B.jpg

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I'm gonna admit that if I saw stairs, a landing, wrought-iron handrails, doors, and then the "False Door" signs, I'd probably have to walk up and try the knobs to try and understand what exactly the signs meant.

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. . . I'm gonna admit that if I saw stairs, a landing, wrought-iron handrails, doors, and then the "False Door" signs, I'd probably have to walk up and try the knobs to try and understand what exactly the signs meant.

And it's people like you who are the reason why the residents have to keep getting their meds increased.

"I'm telling you, doc, I keep hearing these rattling sounds coming from my bathtub. . . "

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Wow, what a waste of money.

It's like any other exterior treatment. They could have wasted the money on fancy trim or high-end European siding panels. Instead they used it for false doors & used cheap Hardiplank panels. The reality is, in this case, that they wouldn't have been able to build the building in the first place unless they could make it look like townhomes. The mayor of the town lives across the street from this place (in a townhome). He & his neighbors were upset enough about having a building full of mentally handicapped people across the street, they weren't about to stand for a building that *looked* like it was full of mentally handicapped people. The illusion doesn't stand up to close scrutiny, but at a glance, it works.

Without knowing they were dummy doors with bathrooms behind them, I'd be scratching my head over the frost free hose bib that's between them.

At least *it's* not a dummy.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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