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Parking Lot Series: Phoenix and Chicago Facilities in the 1950s

Today’s feature images take us to Phoenix, Arizona, and Chicago, Illinois. A Carnation Company dairy products office and warehouse building is the backdrop for the automobiles in the enlargeable image above, that for the most part, appears to contain upscale vehicles owned by Company executives.

The photo below contains a parking lot next to the Prudential Building located to the right of the center of the picture. The forty-one story structure at 130 East Randolph Street in Chicago, Illinois opened in 1955, only a couple of years before the newest automobiles in the scene were built.

Over seventy-five more photos can be viewed in the Parking Lot Series here on The Old Motor. Share with us what you find of interest in these images. The photographs are courtesy of the UWM Libraries. 

19 responses to “Parking Lot Series: Phoenix and Chicago Facilities in the 1950s

  1. Hmm, I wonder which one is Phoenix and which is Chicago? I see by the Coca-Cola clock, digital time was still in it’s infancy ( numbers screwed up) Lot of fancy cars in the Phoenix shot, and regular Joe’s( or Joannes) in the Chicago one.

  2. In the California photo that little Ford coupe was pretty appealing to the younger set, I’d bet. But, what I noted in particular was that, of all the vehicles in the photo where we can see such, the only car with blackwall tires is the bathtub. Figures, doesn’t it?

  3. CarNation? Besides the “executive” models, I see a shoebox Ford coupe with spinner hubcaps–and maybe a Renault Dauphine.

  4. In the lead photograph, in the lower left corner, is a tail-light from a 1959 OLDSMOBILE and beyond it is a 1958 OLDSMOBILE Super 88 Sedan [non-Holiday].

  5. Carved into the limestone on one wall of the Prudential Building was their trademark, the Rock of Gibraltar. The bar in the basement of the building where I got drunk for the first time with co-workers on my 21st birthday was called “Rock Bottom” and the fancy restaurant near the top was called, of course, “Top of the Rock.” If I remember correctly, there was a basement train station that connected to the train tracks that run under Grant Park, the north end of which was a parking lot at that time.

  6. In the second photo it looks like they are parked sooooo close together!!! Is it an optical illusion, or are they truly that close!! Yikes!!!

  7. In the 3rd photo behind the two tone 1954 Chevy is a car with a looooong roof. A limo of some sort? Could it be a Checker with an extended body? Can anyone answer this mystery?

  8. Prominent in the Chicago photo is a 1953 Chevrolet “210” series with “cow catcher” guards front and rear and mud flaps all around.

  9. I think the photo labeled as Phoenix was actually taken on the Wilshire Boulevard Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, California. I recall an identical building and the palm trees are more apropos to L. A . rather than Phoenix.

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