Downtown Parking Innovations
by Paula Bosse
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.)
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:
There’s a video showing how it worked (thanks, “Not Bob” for posting this in the comments)!
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.