Miami’s New Temples

28 thoughts on “Miami’s New Temples”

  1. Often places are “overparked”–provided with more parking than necessary–because of either formulas or a property owner’s nervousness. Commercial builders have the financial incentive to hold down costs, but if an institution can get grants for an art piece garage they’re not under the same constraints. Parking can also be shared between uses that different time demands–most of a museum’s demand is daytime, while most of a restaurant’s demand is evening. But cities have to tell developers that they can and should do this.

    It would also be prudent to build garages that can be converted to another use. I wouldn’t make the assumption that the demand for parking will be the same in 10 or 20 years.

  2. These garages are beautiful. They definitely add value to the surrounding buildings and neighborhood. Prices per parking spot is on the high side unless each spot could be privately owned.

  3. Well, I suppose it beats a plain old box. Funny, the trend of exposed mechanical systems started in the 1970’s. My father designed several commercial buildings then with this feature. That fashion seems to wax and wane, but never entirely disappeared.

  4. Re Big-box parking in general: I’ve often wondered why the most active entry/exit vehicle access routes for these abominations is right up next to the structure so that people moving to/from their parked vehicles have to dodge through traffic to get to/from the building and persons in said vehicles forming the traffic have to watch out for pedestrians while looking for a place to store their vehicles. Makes no sense to me so (among many other reasons) I avoid these places.

    1. Fire lanes have to be kept clear, and are usually right up against buildings. Drivers would use them even if signage told them not to. So fire lanes become the main travel lanes.

  5. Nothing warms my heart more than a parking garage that enables a walkable 2-4 story district to sprout. Think Pasadena, CA. Beautiful downtown but driving in is really the only option for many people.

    I think that’s actually more sustainable and realistic, for the U.S., than the high rise, heavy transit dependent model that really only works in 1% of places. Over time, park and walk can become BRT and walk, light rail and walk, etc. as the number of walkable nodes expand and those options become viable.

      1. Have you ever looked at the parking setup in Santa Barbara? The downtown along State Street (main downtown shopping street) has numerous parking garages on the two streets on either side of State. None are as embellished as these Miami examples, but they aren’t horribly poke-you-in-the-eye ugly, either. Echoing Brian’s point about Pasadena, they seem to achieve the aim of making downtown Santa Barbara simultaneously car-friendly and very walkable, and do a lot to keep the downtown area viable for more than just tourists.

        SB also has an inexpensive electric shuttle that runs frequenly, but only along the main tourist thoroughfares – not a commuter solution, obviously, but it does seem to help reduce the car traffic, to some extent, along the roads most frequented by tourists. I live in a bigger city, but have often wondered if a network of short, connected shuttle routes along my city’s grid layout would be a more practical option than longer, more circuitous bus routes and massive downtown parking structures.

    1. It’s 30 minutes on the gold line from Little Tokyo to Memorial park. Or 30 minutes in traffic, plus however long it takes to park.

      But still, overwhelmingly people drive.

  6. New York City, and possibly San Francisco, used to have parking garages that were obviously converted livery stables. The old hayloft doors and beam for the pulley were still visible.

  7. Seems like it would make more sense for the parking to be mixed into the buildings people are driving to see. It’s kind of a pain to have to park on the seventh floor, walk down and to a different building, and then back up again. I guess maybe the parking would end up too small for a lot of buildings, and not have room for ramps and such?

  8. 1111 Lincoln Rd — The Emperor has no clothes.

    I don’t know whats worse, Costco surface parking or this. At least Costco isn’t trying to blow smoke up our a$$.

    Yes, this on really touched a nerve, more please.

    Hey!….those 40 foot ceilings in 1111 will really come in handy in the future, when the “cars” will be flying into the garage…because all water below…smart planning!

  9. I wonder what the next use of these structures is when (and if) dense cities start becoming post-private-car places?

    Could they be converted into human-habitable spaces, the reverse of what happened to the Michigan Building in Detroit, which turned from a theater into a parking garage, and now is a co-work space:!1s0x883b2d36c0b9e625%3A0x9c56d41518073e82!2m17!16m16!1b1!2m2!1m1!1e1!2m2!1m1!1e3!2m2!1m1!1e6!2m2!1m1!1e4!2m2!1m1!1e5!3m1!7e115!!5sdetroit%20theater%20parking%20garage%20-%20Google%20Search&imagekey=!1e10!2sAF1QipNc2PEIUG68tAOKr4SWABQv9ySXouMs4VEo7QW0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj90MKZ1u_dAhXrHzQIHbSwARIQoiowF3oECAoQCQ&activetab=main

  10. I visited Sarasota many years ago and thought it might work to have downtown parking garages where people could leave their cars and walk around. This seems consistent with that concept.

  11. Car is king here, and car storage needs to be “beautiful”. People are having a party and eating in the garage, like it’s a beautiful square in some European town. They should have filled it with parked cars too. This garish art crap on the garages reminded me of the film “Idiocracy”.

  12. I once cooked some bratwurst in a parking garage on the campus of my alma mater . . . that’s pretty much the same as that garage party, right? Haha.

    Not that I travel extensively, but I haven’t seen anything like these parking garages elsewhere. Have you?

    1. Nick, Yes, the decorated garage is a thing in places besides Miami. Julian Stanczak’s design in Cincinnati comes to mind. But mostly what I see around the country are parking garages that try and camouflage themselves by blending in to the equally bland and generic landscape around them. In really “cutting edge” situations a modest corner shop is added to make the sidewalk less dead.

      1. Anaheim has some garages where the entire sidewalk front is retail – almost a commercial version of a Texas Donut. The garage portion is semi-disguised as well. It really helps the feel of the area.

      1. This. I live in Utah, and there’s probably not a better example of big boxes surrounded by acres of parking than the Wasatch Front. I’m not a big fan of parking garages either, but I’d take a creative garage near a space where people can walk over a hot (or icy) parking lot full of people trying to dodge cars in front of every building in the city. If we have to have cars (and there’s no way around having a car in most of this country), then maybe we could look into nicer places to put them when you go out. And maybe it’s worth paying for it, at least until something better comes along.

        1. I take a long term view. A century from now the surface parking lots and stacked parking decks will be used for other things. But that’s too far away and unknowable from our perspective. No one who built industrial warehouses a hundred years ago would have imagined them being converted to luxury condos. And no one in Salt Lake a century ago would have imagined their farm being a Costco.

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