Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Parking Garage of the Week-- March 28th

Central Parking of Philadelphia- 12th and Sansom Garage

123 South 12th Street

                     This garage right here is a grabasstic piece of horsetrash. What a useless pile of shit. Even though this garage is one of many in a neighborhood of much larger parking behemoths, it has a way of annoying the fuck out of anyone walking down 12th or Sansom Streets.
                       The address this 600-car-parking motherfucker lives on was once the site of the Borie Mansion, a large and fanciful house that was somewhat famous in its own time, but not famous enough that someone would take a good picture of it. You can only find views of it in the background of pictures of the S.S. White Building.

The Borie Mansion as seen from 12th and Chestnut.
                          The Borie Mansion was demolished around 1922 to create one of the city's earliest surface parking lots. It was pretty small, since the house next door still stood, but by the mid 1940's, had grown to about half the size the garage is now.

This photo is labeled as 1940 but I think its from 1949. The Surface Lot that would become the garage is on far left.
                         Its not clear when exactly the garage was built, but the front portion of it was put up some time between 1949 and 1959.

You can see the garage on the middle right here in 1959.
                      On June 20, 1978, the 12th and Sansom garage was sold for $1 to  Samuel Rappaport. This Rappaport guy was the king of the many 20th Century Center City Slumlords. At one point, he owned more properties in Center City than anyone else. This shitbird would buy properties cheap, sit on them, make small improvements, then sell them off for exorbitant prices. He was responsible for the blightiest times for Center City and also caused some of the NIMBYism we experience today. His death in 1994 was directly responsible for much of Center City East's renaissance.
                   The Twelfth and Sansom garage is one of the many shitty properties that still list him as an owner. Today, its managed by Central Parking Systems and has an Enterprise Rent-a-Car storefront location in it. The rear half of the garage is an addition, but there seems to be no record of when it was built. This ugly pile of trash is a like a Great Wall of Sphincters along the 1100 block of Sansom Street and is the ugliest thing on the 100 block of South 12th Street. Its even worse than the gigantic Parkway Corp garage across the street and that's saying something.
                  In the tax records, the owner is listed as Rappaport but the address given for the owner is LGI Energy Solutions of Wayzata, Minnesota. Why the fuck does a shitty little energy company in Minnesota own a parking garage in Philadelphia? The lot is zoned C5, so a two-story parking garage is a massive under-utilization of the space. Any rich developers reading this? Someone needs to buy up this thing and put it out of its misery in favor of a new building with an underground garage that has just as many spaces. Get Tony Goldman on the phone. He made 13th Street out of some of Rappaport's other remains, maybe he can help here.
                 Oh well.. we're just gonna have to live with this thing for awhile. The facade appears to be recently repainted but it still makes a long-ass boring wall down Sansom Street. Hopefully, someone in my lifetime will have the guts to wipe this motherfucker out.

Here's the Sansom Street wall. The Midtown II blocks it from crashing into Kling's crappy-ass Foederer Pavilion or whatever the fuck its called.


  1. How has someone not thought of a better use for this plot of land in one of the densest parts of the city? Amazing.

  2. Wow! It is in the center of the city. It is really nice to park here. Nice parking garage.

  3. Iits sucks the big one for sure...but it's the best deal in mid-town at 10 bucks in buy 10 out by 5

  4. Wayzata MN is the home of many wealthy people. Many. Wealthy. People. It is a very well-off suburb of rthe Twin Cities. Very well-off.

    Got the point?