Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Parking Garage of the Week-- June 6th

LAZ Parking at Jefferson Hospital

107 South 10th Street

That's fucking gigantic!!
                    What a piece of shit. I appreciate that they tried to make it look like a building, but they could have done a better job. The one time that a large piece of construction happens despite tons of NIMBYism and bad press, and its this. A gigantic pile of donkey testicle souffle.
                    I already talked a little bit about this shitpeanut in the post about the empty lot that surrounds it. In the 1990's, Jefferson University/Hospital had their eye on the block bounded by 9th, 10th, Chestnut, and Sansom streets. They started buying up properties in the block here and there while a Chicago company called Urban Growth Property Trust, knowing that Jeff wanted the space, bought other parcels. Eventually, it all got knocked the fuck down, creating one humongous empty lot that lasted for four years.

SE corner of 10th and Chestnut, 1993. This is all parking garage now.
                  In 2003, InterPark, a parking subsidiary of Urban Growth, struck up a special deal with Jefferson. The two companies would swap independent ownership of the parcels, and InterPark would invest the $35 million necessary to get this big bastard built. InterPark would then own the place while Jefferson would provide the guaranteed customers.
                Once plans were announced, people went fucking apeshit against it. What was previously an awesome 19th Century commercial row would become a shitty parking garage with crappy retail. Numerous individual groups of NIMBYs came out against the plan and the press skewered the idea. Jefferson made concessions, allowing the garage to be a bit smaller than originally planned (700 cars instead of 920) and guaranteed that they would open up the storefronts along the 1000 block of Chestnut from the ground floor of the Gibbon Building (they only ended up doing it on the one corner).
                They went to Bower Lewis Thrower, the same shitbirds behind the Dockside Apartments, for the design, which would be adjusted to look less like a garage and more like a building. After many delays for zoning variances and NIMBY-assuage, construction began in June of 2005 and the garage opened on May 22, 2006, three years behind schedule.

The garage under confucktion.
                    9,400 cubic yards of concrete was thrown together to create the 228,000 square foot monster. The whole thing ended up being 7 stories of fuck on top of 1 story of retail that still isn't fully occupied to this day. The only cool thing about the project is the iconic pedestrian bridge that leads to the hospital. I just love a good pedestrian bridge.
                   To be fair, before this was built, Jefferson's parking needs were dire. They were shuttle-busing employees in from surface parking lots around the city. Nonetheless, there's no reason why they couldn't do this one underground like they did with their Hamilton Garage, built around the same time. Hopefully, this monumental carbox will be the last one they'll need to build for awhile.   
                   Jefferson does intend to build up the rest of the superblock that remains empty, but don't expect to see any cranes in the air any time soon. One day, it will all be filled in and this stupid garage will look a lot less ostentatious... in the meantime (decades, probably), this crappy garage will be sitting there, annoying the fuck out of everyone. FUCK IT!!!

Pictured: A big IF.

1 comment:

  1. Bower Lewis Thrower = Bower Lewis Throw-up