Downtown Parking Innovations

by Paula Bosse

ad-nichols-bros-parking-garage_1945-directory-detSplendiforous parking garage, 1945 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Here are a couple of ways developers have attempted to cope with the parking needs of downtown Dallas. I’m not sure how long either of these parking garages lasted, but I give them both A’s for effort.

First, 1945: Nichols Bros. Garage & Rent-a-Car Service at 1320 Commerce (just east of Field). Just look at all these amenities — women and chauffeurs are not forgotten. (Click for larger image.)

ad-nichols-bros-parking-garage_1945-directory1945 Dallas directory

I don’t know how long this lasted, but if you’re going to have a garage downtown, it might as well look like that one!

Then in 1954, the 8-story Dallas Carpark at Jackson and St. Paul arrived (a second one at Jackson and Lane was under construction that same year). It was a franchises of the Pigeonhole Parking System of Spokane, utilizing “car-parking machines” invented by Leo Sanders of Spokane, Washington. I’m not exactly sure how these worked, but cars were hoisted and lowered on elevators, and the whole parking process, from start to finish, was conducted without an attendant ever actually touching the cars. Again, I don’t know how long this was endeavor was in business, but — parking-garage-history neophyte that I am — I’ve never heard of such a thing.


Above, a car being moved mechanically off a lift and into a parking stall. Below, a car taking a ride on the elevator.


Read how this thing worked:

car-elevator_dmn_092654Dallas Morning News, Sept. 26, 1954

There’s a video showing how it worked (thanks, “Not Bob” for posting this in the comments)!

Universal Newsreel February 23, 1951 – Pigeon Hole Parking Spokane Washington from Not Bob on Vimeo.


Nichols Bros. ad from the 1945 city directory.

Photos and article from The Dallas Morning News (Sept. 26, 1954).

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.