I recently got back from a trip to Europe to visit family and kept my eye out for tiny houses across the pond. What caught my attention in downtown Copenhagen, Denmark was a steel and copper bridge tender house. My husband and I actually peaked into the windows and contemplated if we could buy one of these things and spend our days watching the traffic and bicyclers speed past. These particular bridge tending homes are now being used as municipal offices, but I think most of these types of buildings would make great tiny houses along the lines of a lighthouse…utilitarian and beautiful.
In the past, bridge tenders were needed to run the electronics and machinery that raised and lowered bridges on major rivers, waterways and railroad bridges. The machinery was kept in a small house near or on the bridge and the bridge tender would spend most of their time in the house, or even lived there. Their jobs consisted of controlling and monitoring traffic around the bridges, keeping the bridge and the raising/lowering mechanism in good condition and running telegraph machines and other communications. Most bridge tender houses were usually built by government departments of transportation.
What’s appealing about these buildings is that they are located in cities, in the country, and according to the photo on the bottom, in the middle of nowhere. Bridge tender houses have mostly gone by the wayside in the U.S., but a few are still being used to monitor waterway and railroad traffic while some have been converted into private homes or museums. The few that have been made into private homes, I’m sure get their fair share of people trying to look into their windows.