Where to Park?...

Those close to me know, that I have this odd fascination with parking structures. This is even more unusual in that I don't own a car, and have disdain for those who think they are too good for public transit and insist on driving downtown and parking.
But that said, I have always been drawn to the physical presence of vast wide open space presented by the structures themselves. The rhythm of repeating floor after floor of nearly identical slabs of concrete angled just so, creating one continuous ramp from the street to the top. I appreciate the honesty of materials, used primarily for their utilitarian purpose, not trying to be anything other than what they are.

So, while looking through my images early this morning, I noticed that I have dozens of images of parking structures, but with the exception of the Hotel LaSalle Public Garage (also here and here) and a post about "Parking" signs, I haven't post a lot of them. So I went through and picked a few taken since the beginning of the year and present them for comment.

First up... This garage on Lake Street near LaSalle presents this sinuous curvy ramp for the driver to navigate, as if it were a grand lobby staircase at a hotel, hinting at your amazing parking space above.

Entrance to parking at Northwestern Hospital on E. Huron. The signage is supposed to be clear and easy to read, which for the most part, it is. However, there is so much signage going on it has now become confusing.

This parking ramp for the John Hancock looks like too much fun. What you don't see is that the entire ramp is lined with heat lamps (shown in this post) to melt snow off of your car before you take it into the garage.

Shot from State Street over the site of MoMo, this garage at Randolph and Wabash is fairly typical of garages built in the last 15 years. By taking the image out of focus, I was trying to capture just the elements of the lighting and structure. It still looks like a parking garage.

Shot from Randolph Street, this garage at Washington and Franklin is really like the one above, unremarkable. I walk by this on my way home from work nearly every day, and I am always drawn to the staircase windows. I like that the staircase is shown off like this, it offers a sense of safety to the customer.

This shot was taken from Wacker Drive, looking over the Trump project along Wabash, of the garage at State and Hubbard. This garage was for a very long time on my list of the most hideous structures in the city, until I shot this picture, and then later I saw it at night after the Sun Times Building came down.
By day, it is a giant imposing charcoal gray box, with no character other than a curve on the corner. But at night, it takes on a life of it's own, the imposing exterior becomes almost transparent and puts the cars within on display. As the cars and people move about, it almost creates a sense of parking theater. Now that the Trump is rising, the dead on view of this garage has gone away, and I can just kick myself for not taking more images while I had the chance.

Well, looking at how much I just wrote on parking garages, I am guessing my secret is out.


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