“Parking Heights”

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For some reason yesterday I began to tell my husband about “pigeonhole parking.” He had never heard of it, so perhaps it was a West Coast phenomenon. My siblings and I begged my mother to put the car in the contraption pictured above when we went downtown to shop. In fact, if you look at the far right stack of cars, the second one from the top looks a lot like what we called the b-mobile, our Ford station wagon.

You drove up to the lot and centered your car on an elevator like platform. Then the attendant maneuvered your car up to a height with an available parking slot. Then he drove the car into the slot and brought the empty elevator down for the next customer. When you went to get your car, you would look up until you found it and then point it out to the attendant. Then he reversed the process, bringing your car safely back down.

I am not sure why we were so fascinated by the mechanism. However, it was a very popular parking fixture, and toy makers even chimed in with miniature versions.

carelevator

They never really caught on, I guess. While they conserved space on land, they were terribly inefficient, particularly if several people wanted to leave at one time. But while the lot pictured above was around, we loved it.

10 thoughts on ““Parking Heights”

  1. When I was a kid, I used to wonder why people didn’t have contraptions like this in their house. I always said I wanted one so I could “wash” my car in the bathroom when I take a shower 😂

    I had no idea they actually existed though! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Some are still working in India. Recently I saw one getting constructed in a parking lot of a mall in a relatively small city of Cochin

  3. I think they have at least one slightly more primitive one in Chinatown in NYC now–we parked on the bottom though in the last couple-few years. other than that, it was never part of my East-Coast growing up.

  4. We have some parking spaces like that here to save on the meager space they had for parking. The first time my son-in-law used it, I was so afraid that the lift mechanism would snap.

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