Thursday, July 7, 2011

Parking Skyscraper

In March 1921, the Standard Motor Accessories and Garage Corporation of New Orleans proposed a nine-story parking skyscraper above Canal Street. Architect Rathbone De Buys (c. 1874-1960) drafted plans for the structure, which were published in The Times-Picayune on March 13th (above). The need for off-street parking was becoming a pressing concern. In 1917, hotel and other business owners were charging exorbitant fees for the privilege to park on city streets adjacent to their properties. In August of that year, the City Commissioners announced a hearing for the purpose of developing a municipal parking ordinance. Increasing legal restrictions led to the establishment of private "motor stations" that offered vehicular storage as well as lubrication and upholstering services.

Recommended reading: John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle. Lots of Parking: Land Use in a Car Culture. U of Virginia P, 2005. Available in Tulane University's Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.

Image above: "What about your Automobile?" The Times-Picayune 13 March 1921 Section 4, page 10.

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