Upon waking this morning I quickly fell into an anxious and depressed Monday-morning mindset until I noticed the date on my calendar and realized that I had something to celebrate. It was a year ago today that Boneyard Studios was conceived.
Saturday, September 10, 2011 was the monthly summer full moon ride in Washington DC (sponsored by my favorite bike shop Bicycle Space) I always meet interesting, creative and engaged DC residents on these night rides. While drinking cocktails with fellow bike enthusiasts in Logan Circle park, I met Brian and we discovered that we both wanted to build tiny houses on wheels. After geeking out about tiny houses for a couple hours and talking about the lack of tiny houses on wheels in urban spaces, we hatched the plan of finding space to build them within the District in the next year. At the time it felt like just another of my crazy ideas that I get all excited about and quickly forget. Yet here we are a year later – Boneyard Studios in existence (with a couple new members), a few tiny houses in construction, and a great community in formation (of builders, architects, tiny house enthusiasts, affordable housing activists, sustainable living advocates, local business owners, neighbors, and supporters).
A quick timeline (not comprehensive):
Sept 10, 2011 – Boneyard Studios conceived at the Full Moon Ride in Washington DC
Oct 2, 2011 – First tiny house meetup in DC hosted by Lee (these meetups continue every three months or so and are a great way to connect with others in DC building or interested in tiny and/or sustainable living space
Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 - The search for the lot begins. Research tiny house design, appliances, and city zoning and code. Read tiny house blogs, books, and connect with other tiny house, affordable housing, and sustainable urban development advocates and supporters.
April 2012 - We help organize the Repurposing Space Showcase with Wangari Gardens and the Box Collective – two other great community organizations. We host an open house of a Tumbleweed Fencl during the showcase and a few hundred visitors come out for the event. We meet Jay who quickly becomes a new member of Boneyard Studios!
May 2012 - Lee’s builder, Tony, moves to DC to start work on her house. Tony and Brian do a tremendous amount of work on the lot - clearing old concrete, building fences, and planting gardens. We host a BBQ to introduce neighbors to the idea for our projects.
June 2012 - The lot gets some utilities and more work done to it. Lee’s tiny house shell arrives in DC from South Carolina. We host a tiny house class on the lot and speak at the Tumbleweed tiny house workshop in DC. First happy hour on tiny house lot to introduce friends and supporters to project.
July 2012 - After a stop-work order request is removed, construction finally begins! See here for details about stop-work order, code and zoning.
August 2012 - Construction in full swing on Jay and Lee’s tiny houses. Check out Jay’s great time-lapse video of his build. Second happy hour on tiny house lot to introduce friends and supporters to project.
September 2012 - Construction continues and we reflect on what we have accomplished in this past year. At the end of the month we will be giving a presentation on the project at the World MakerFaire in New York City. Check out our events/workshops page for more information.
It’s so easy to forget the progress we’ve made when dealing with the day-to-day challenges and obstacles, so today I’ve spent some time reflecting and feeling proud of what we’ve accomplished this past year and feeling grateful for all the wonderful people we’ve met through this project. A toast to Boneyard Studios and to all of you who have helped us out…we would not have made it this far without your support. I look forward to the accomplishments there will be to reflect on next year at this time. Cheers!