Elevator Garage with Parking Lot by John Gutmann (1936)

The photograph “Elevator Garage with Parking Lot” was captured by artist John Gutmann in Chicago in the year 1936. It portrays an innovative vertical parking solution that was used in urban areas to maximize space. This vertical parking garage is surrounded by taller buildings, indicative of an urban cityscape, with a ground-level parking lot visible in the photograph as well.

In the image, we can see a multi-story, tower-like structure filled with cars parked on individual platforms. This type of garage utilizes a mechanical system to elevate and store cars in a compact vertical arrangement, akin to a giant vending machine for vehicles. The structure stands out from the surrounding environment due to its unique function and form, contrasting with the more conventional buildings around it. The photograph is in black and white, emphasizing the architectural details and the era’s automobiles. The garage’s imposing presence amongst the neighboring buildings captures the viewer’s attention, as it showcases an early example of urban space management and the adaptation of cities to accommodate the growing number of automobiles.

Other Photographs from John Gutmann

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