The parking garage at the Santa Monica Civic Center is the first LEED-certified building of its type. Recycled construction materials and low-VOC paints/finishes were used. Its solar photovoltaic roof allows for renewable energy and it also devotes some spaces to electric vehicles. You can even store your bike there for free. Plus, it looks a lot nicer from the outside than the parking garages I’m used to seeing!
Say hey to one parking garage that looks amazing but will probably never (EVER) get my business! Located on Baxter Street in Chinatown (NY), this automated parking garage claims to make the whole experience easier for drivers. Here’s how it works: you drive your car onto the automated pallet, get out, and the pallet takes the car down to an available spot. Payment is arranged with an attendant and you’re given a receipt for retrieval. Actually getting your car back may take some time, because the pallet needs to maneuver cars that may have been parked in front of yours. However, once it is back in front of you, you’re ready to go; there’s a turntable that rotates your car so you don’t have to back out of the garage (supposedly reducing accidents). Here’s the thing that gets me: there have been a few “oops” moments – as in cars dropped distances of up to 6 levels. Oh yeah, and that one time the system shut down for 26 hours and no one could get their vehicles… Hmmm maybe not. But I bet they could make a tidy sum by giving tours of the place!
I got the idea for today’s Daily Dose from an exhibition that’s currently on display at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. through July 11, 2010. “House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage” is the first major exhibition to document the development of this common storage structure as well as exploring future design possibilities. Check out www.nbm.org for more information.
Oh! One more thing. I was watching House Hunters last week (I think… at least, the people on the show were looking for a house…) and discovered that British folks pronounce the word garage, “ger’ əʒ”. For those not familiar with the phonetic alphabet, it rhymes with “carriage”. Try it out sometime and let me know how it goes!