101 South Juniper Street
Now this is what should be done with all parking garages. Though its probably gonna look ridiculous in 20 years, for the time being, this is way better than your typical shitty parking garage. Though almost 50 years old, the Lift's makeover in recent years makes it one of the most advanced above-ground garages in the region.
The site this carbox sits on was home to a VERY lost building. The Drury Building stood for six decades at 101 South Juniper but no one ever took a picture of it or added it to any record of ANYTHING. The only picture of it is a grainy aerial photo where you can only see the roof. Carbon Paper was produced there for years until it became home to Edgar V. Seeler's architecture firm. Its storefront held the second-ever Horn and Hardart's location.
In 1961, Philadelphia Penny-Park, Inc. proposed what they used to call a "pigeonhole parking" structure for the site. The ugly-ass one on Broad Street had just been completed and this new one would improve upon its design. It would have a more advanced automated parking system and, unlike the Broad Street one, provide storefronts along Juniper Street.
|Rendering of the garage in 1961.|
|Remember this? Image by Charles Hess.|
With the Tony Goldman Renaissance of nearby 13th Street, the neighborhood's parking needs went way up (despite having a shitload of pre-existing garages in every direction). On March 18th, 2006, Brandywine Realty Trust purchased the ol' Penny-Park for $2.25 million and kicked the tenants the fuck out. Rarebreed was the only survivor, lasting a few more years near South Street. Brandywine then spent the next few years gutting and renovating the garage. It took fucking FOREVER, blocking Juniper Street for months at a time.
|Toward the end of construction in January, 2010 with street blocked. Pic by Skyscraperpage.com member Muji.|
When the renovation was first being done, rumors swirled around stating that if this thing was successful, other parking garages would be redone in the same way. Well... The Lift has been open for awhile now... hopefully Brandywine will be inspired to start on some other garages. I suggest the butt-fugly Pigeonhole Parking building on Broad Street. Get to it, Brandyfucks!!
|Just a reminder of what it looked like for decades. Photo by Tim McFarlane|