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.
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.