A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 19, 2017
“Parking garages are hotels for cars” ("Hotel for Autos")

A parking garage has been called a “hotel for cars.” “Hotel for Autos, 25 Stories High, Is Chicago Plan” was a headline in the Atlanta (GA) Constitution on February 20, 1922. A “Hotel for Autos” (the Kent Automatic Garage) was built at Ninth Avenue and 61st Street in Manhattan in 1929.

“Parking garages are like hotels for cars #shitisay” was posted on Twitter on December 1, 2012. “Parking garages are just hotels for cars” was posted on Reddit—Shower Thoughts on June 22, 2016.


Wikipedia: Kent Automatic Garages
Kent Automatic Garages were popular in a number of metropolitan areas from the late 1920s through the early 1960s. They enabled customers to park their cars for an hour or longer with a standard rate of $.50 per hour for the first two hours, and $.05 for each additional hour or fraction thereof, for a twenty-four-hour period. One of the first Kent Automatic Garages was at 44th Street, just east of 3rd Avenue and the other a block west of Columbus Circle.

The parking facilities were convenient, beginning with electric automatic parkers which received vehicles. Autos could be stored and returned to patrons at a moment’s notice. Specifically, cars were handled by an electric parker, a small rubber- tired machine which ran beneath the auto and engaged with the rear axle by means of a rubber-cleated coupler. The parker required approximately fifteen seconds to move sixty feet from an elevator, lift the car, and return with it. It saved time by bringing a car from its parking space and returning it to the ground floor, without starting the motor. The auto rolled on its own wheels but was moved by the parker.
(...)
In 1928 the Packard Motor Company sold a plot 100 by 140 feet (30 by 43 m) on the corner of Ninth Avenue which was made into a twenty-five story Kent Automatic Garage at the northeast corner of Ninth Avenue and 61st Street. The building was a likeness of the Kent Grand Central Station Garage. The land adjoined the Packard showrooms and sold for $600,000. The garage held 1,000 cars.

20 February 1922, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, pg. 1, col. 4:
HOTEL FOR AUTOS, 25 STORIES HIGH, IS CHICAGO PLAN

15 April 1929, Hartford (CT) Daily Courant, pg. 11, col. 3:
Hotel For Autos Built in New York
A hotel for autos exclusively has been built in New York City to help relieve the parking problem. It is twenty-four stories high and has a capacity of 1,000 cars, says Popular Mechanics magazine. They are taken to the different floors, parked in the selected spaces and returned again to the delivery room, all by electronic control, so that no human hand touches them after they are once placed on the elevators.

Google Books
May 1929, Popular Mechanics, pg. 810, col. 1:
TWENTY-FOUR-STORY GARAGE
HOLDS THOUSAND CARS
A hotel for autos exclusively has been built in New York city to help relieve the parking problem.

Modern Mechanix
HOTEL for AUTOS (May, 1929)
How would they get a car from the back of a row? There is an small automatic parking garage in my neighborhood and it’s pretty complex.

Twitter
Ammar Khan‏
@ammar_ammar
Check out these 10 parking garages that are like a 5 star hotel for your Car, as voted by Jalopnik readers: http://bit.ly/XP7HXU
12:42 PM - 23 Oct 2012

Twitter
Regina Price‏
@ginasaurous
Parking garages are like hotels for cars #shitisay
8:37 PM - 1 Dec 2012

Twitter
Logan Eldridge‏
@logan
Seriously? A hotel for your car?
7:46 PM - 6 Dec 2012

Twitter
Alex Stevens‏
@itsalex_st
Carports are like hotels for cars
6:36 PM - 7 Apr 2013

Twitter
Jack Wood‏
@jackkwood
Replying to @RSdriver00
@RSdriver00 @perfectionvalet What are the garages then? They look like hotels for cars!
3:35 PM - 12 Apr 2013

Twitter
Mahmoud Itani‏
@MahmoudItani
I got an email, the subject: 5 star #hotel for your #car. It really is a facility to pamper cars! #uae #dubai
3:21 PM - 19 Jul 2013

Twitter
Michael Gustafson‏
@Gustalihno
Parking lots are basically hotels for cars
4:49 PM - 4 Nov 2013

Twitter
caroline garlick‏
@Caroline_Violin
Parking garages are like hotels for cars.
1:25 PM - 16 Feb 2014

Twitter
Chris‏
@chris_Tparker
Multi-storey car parks are just hotels for cars.
8:19 AM - 14 Jan 2015

CityLab
The Marvellous History of New York’s ‘Hotel for Autos’
JOHN METCALFE SEP 17, 2015
Garages from around 1930 could mechanically stack hundreds of vehicles as high as two-dozen stories.

Today, the building standing at the northeast corner of 61st Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan blends in well with its tall, dirt-colored brethren:

But back in the 1930s, the tower was anything but a bunch of apartments and offices. Indeed, it was the fantastic, futuristic “HOTEL for AUTOS”:

Twitter
Audrey Vaver‏
@audrey_vaver
“Parking garages are so cool. They’re like hotels for your cars” -@18hellL
7:41 PM - 19 Feb 2016

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
Parking garages are just hotels for cars
submitted June 22, 2016 by [deleted]

Twitter
EngineNews‏
@EngineNewsUK
The boutique five-star hotel FOR YOUR CAR: Vehicles are treated to manic http://www.enginenews.co.uk/ri935785/ #uknews #UK #NEWSPAPERS #NEWS
3:31 AM - 22 Jul 2016

Twitter
spooky kat‏
@kpedalty
“is that a hotel or a parking garage… you could say it’s like a hotel for your cars”
7:34 AM - 31 Oct 2016

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
Parking towers are hotels for your car
submitted October 20, 2017 by Etchuro

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Thursday, October 19, 2017 • Permalink