There's really no solution to the door thing except saving and reloading. I was just about to try the noclip when the door decided to work. Heck, maybe just enabling the console was enough to scare the door unstuck.
I took the same path that you're taking because hey I'm a Tremere and Max is my main man. He doesn't seem to treat me any more special though aside from letting me shack up in the Chantry. Which, by the way, is elegant... but because it's in an Elysium area, you can't feed on Heather.