SAHARA Highlights: Garages

by Jacqueline Spafford and Jeffrey Klee, SAHARA Co-Editors | Jan 07, 2019

Le Corbusier saw the car as motivating new forms of city making. Whether in the form of grand high-speed boulevards or in an aesthetic of machine-made materials and mass production, for him, the car was an avatar of contemporary civilization. Nearly a century after the publication of Vers Une Architecture, finding ways to accommodate the proliferation of the car is a central problem for city builders.

The variety of parking and service garages in this selection illustrates the myriad ways in which people have coped with the problem of providing and maintaining the infrastructure necessary to support the automobile in the modern era. Sometimes fanciful, sometimes deadly earnest, and usually consuming large parcels of land, garages also constitute a substantial part of the SAHARA collection.

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1 1026
Frank Lloyd Wright, garage at William G. Fricke House, Oak Park, Illinois, added for second owner, Emma Martin, in 1907. Photograph by James Caulfield, 2004.

2 Rittenhouse Garage No 1 - 2000 bl W Rittenhouse - Phila 19DUnd
Rittenhouse Garage No. 1, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, c. 1910; converted to apartments 2015. Photograph by Dell Upton, 1987.

3 E_Kotsioris_Moscow_2013_Bakhmet'evskii Garage 003
Konstantin Mel'nikov and Vladimir Shukhov, Bakhmet'evskii Bus Garage (today Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center), Obraztsova Ul. 11, Moscow, Russia, 1926-1927. Photograph by Evangelos Kotsioris, 2013.

4 RWL_012_Disk_DSC_0386
Plumley’s Long Lake Garage and Taxi Service, 1179 Main Street, Hamilton, New York, c. 1910s. Photograph by Richard Longstreth, 2015.

5 i09-01842
Pierre Bousquet, Auto-Hall Garage, Casablanca, Morocco, 1930. Photograph by Jean-Louis Cohen, 1994.

6 119505
Paul Rudolph, Temple Street Garage, New Haven, Connecticut, 1959-63. Photograph by Lauren Soth.

7 Ent_0056
John Portman and Associates, Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Shopping Center, Los Angeles, California, 1974-1976, originally built without direct street access. One entered by car into the garage or through bridges connecting adjacent buildings above the street. Photograph by Dell Upton, 2009.

8 Garage6DU97
Frank O. Gehry and Associates and Gruen Associates for Rouse Company, Santa Monica Place Mall Parking Garage, 395 Santa Monica Pier, Los Angles, California, 1979-1981; demolished 2008. Photograph by Dell Upton.

9 IMG_0461
Santiago Calatrava Valls, Quadracci Pavilion - Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2001, view of underground parking garage. Photograph by Lisa Shrenk, 2008.

10 1111 Lincoln Rd Parking Garage
Herzog & de Meuron, 1111 Lincoln Road Parking Garage, Miami Beach, Florida, 2008-2010. Photograph by Peter Clericuzio, 2012.




Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs.
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