Refreshingly unpretentious [and] narratively nimble.—Art in America—
This is a vigorous, thought-provoking book that, after decades of urban boosterism, rightly draws our attention back to the suburbs.
—Times Higher Education
Unadorned and unheated, a garage might seem like a utilitarian place. But in the analysis of Erlanger, an artist, and Ortega, an architect, the garage is a central space of 20th-century America, where modernism and suburban values collide with unexpected power.
Garage is an unusual book for an unusual time in history… Erlanger and Govela elevate the humble architectural garage into a metaphor for how far we have strayed from what we thought we were so close to until so recently: objectivity, truth, authenticity and historical accuracy. It is my hope that Garage inspires future authors to open up and produce new histories of subjects long thought to be closed cases: a new history of the kitchen, the bedroom, the backyard, and perhaps even newer histories of the common garage.
No one truly needs a domestic garage to park a car; space is available, if not readily, on city streets. So why do garages exist? The reason may have nothing to do with parking. In their recent book, Garage, Olivia Erlanger, an artist, and Luis Ortega Govela, an architect, coin a term, ‘garageification,’ which describes a strange excrescence, initially unrelated to the central functions of the home, acquiring a life of its own and beginning to blend previously separate realms.
—The New Yorker
As a model of historically informed cultural studies, Garage warns us to be wary of romanticizing this one-of-a-kind space, even as it underscores why we are so tempted to do just that.