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The Parking Lot Series – A Trio of 1960s and 1950s Images

Today’s Parking Lot Series feature contains something for everyone, three different images taken in two different decades. The lead photo is a 1969 view of the Alright Auto parking lot located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This facility utilized hydraulically actuated storage racks that lifted and stored an automobile high enough off of the ground so that another car could be driven underneath it, and thereby park two vehicles in the space for one.

The enlargeable late-1950s photo below contains a “Car Park” facility located near the Atlanta, Georgia, Airport. The second automobile to the right of the entrance of the lot, a small MGA roadster appears to be tiny compared to the sea of large-sized American cars.

And finally, the second photo below dated January of 1953, taken at a commercial parking lot located at Broad and Sedgwick Street, also in Philadelphia has a mix of 1930s, ’40s, and early-’50s automobiles.

Share with us what you find of interest in these photographs courtesy of PhillyHistory and Georgia State University.

25 responses to “The Parking Lot Series – A Trio of 1960s and 1950s Images

  1. Middle photo, nearest the attendant’s booth on its right, a bare-bones `57 Plymouth Plaza 2dr. Next to it, a tiny MGA that looks like the size of a shoe box in comparison.

  2. I don’t have much on the cars, but I have a bit on the companies in the Philadelphia photographs.

    Lit Brothers was a department store whose building took up the block between N 7th and N 8th on Market Street and was a rival to Wanamaker’s and Gimbel Brothers. It opened in 1891 and closed in 1977. Its building is on the National Register of Historic Places as the only complete block of Victorian architecture in Philadelphia.

    Allright Corporation was founded in Houston (TX) as a sort of successor organization to W. W. Towell’s company Billie’s Auto Parks. Towell’s nephew, Durell Carothers, started working for Towell in 1926 and took over the company in 1932 (Towell passed away in 1933). Carothers originally worked through subsidiaries in different cities, and by 1962 there were over 60 subsidiaries and partnerships that he was coordinating, which would be incorporated as Allright Auto Parks that year. It was bought by Central Parking Corporation in the late 90s and I believe is now headquartered in Nashville (TN).

    • Thanks for the info on the buildings and the businesses. That info can be more interesting than the cars of which we can only supply the year, make and model.

  3. 1st pic, oh, it’s the late 60’s, all right. GTO, 442(?) Torino, Mustang, Caddy’s and what appears 3 cars down, the only foreign car, a Karmann Ghia(?)

    • I was actually struck by the lack of HiPo cars. The Mustang is probably a 6, the 442 is not and I really don’t see a GTO or any SS Chevies. Kind of upper management (sensible) group of cars perhaps.

  4. In the 3rd picture, in the 2nd row from the right, 5th car back [and boxed in by a dark four-door 1950 BUICK Super], is a dark four-door 1950 PACKARD, non-Custom model.

  5. In the 2nd photograph, in the 2nd row from the right, 5th car back, is what looks like it could be a four-door 1951 PACKARD 200.

  6. In the 2nd photograph, in the 1st row of cars on the right, just past the “curve” of cars, is what looks like a 1957 CADILLAC Sedan deVille.

  7. In the 3rd picture, in the 5th row from the right and 7 cars in [about center of photograph], looks like a dark four-door 1948 Packard, a non-Custom model.

  8. In the Atlanta photo the building on the left looks like a WWII military barracks. In the center is a shiny 1957 Pontiac.

    • Yeah Bill, looks like the Air Force barracks I have stayed in. One reason that MGA may be there. A lot of AF types spent NATO time in Europe and came back with the sports car bug (no pun intended). Perhaps this is a military related parking lot. Maybe…

  9. 49 Olds in the third photo looks like it’s a six cylinder by the absence of a “rocket” on the trunk. No chrome around the rear window would indicate lowest (cheapest) model.

  10. I think- my humble opinion- that ’49 Cadillac, Series 62 fastback, last foto is probably one of the prettiest models that Harley Earle and company ever brought to production, sorta timeless in the best sense of the word.

  11. Top picture, looks like that “sweet six cylinder Mustang” (remember the jingle? – “you’re my kind of car!”) made contact with the front bumper of a ’66 Dart GT (which was my kind of car in ’66 and today – my dad considered a Dart GT, but bought a ’66 Coronet 500).

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