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Four Images of Parking Issues in the City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia, PA, is the second largest City in the northeast and has suffered from parking problems for over one-hundred years. Philly drivers have to endure the same issue as many other early cities in the region do; it was initially laid out in a tight grid pattern by William Penn, its founder in the late 1600s, and soon after the automobile became a means travel in the early-1900s space for parking or storing a cars became woefully inadequate.

Today’s lead image shows the effect of a strike by parking workers represented by the Teamsters Union in the mid-1950s in the City. The owner of this Cadillac, evidentially lacking a spare key enlisted local citizens to help him push his car out of the facility so it could be towed to a locksmith or dealership to remedy the problem.

Share with us what you find of interest here and which vehicles you can identify and date in these press photographs courtesy of the Temple University Libraries.

  • A Packard followed by a long line of cars are parked in a temporally banned area on South 13th St. close to Spruce St.

  • This set of photos show unauthorized cars (above) parked during a daytime ban, and (below) in front of row houses in a no parking zone between 7pm and 7am.

no 7pm to 7 am



15 responses to “Four Images of Parking Issues in the City of Brotherly Love

  1. In the lead photo is a ’53 Cadillac.

    In photo #1 the Packard is likely a ’52, the Nash a ’51 Ambassador, a ’38 Chevy, a likely ’50 Mercury and a ’41 Olds

    In photo #2 a ’56 DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman and a ’60 Cadillac

    In photo #3 is a ’60 Rambler Custom (non-wraparound windshield, headlights above the grille and has rounded 2-piece bumpers)

  2. Photo #3 a ’57 Plymouth Savoy 2-door wagon, a ’60 Impala coupe, a ’57 Dodge (“Dodge” lettering above the license vs in script to the right of the license in ’58…otherwise almost indistinguishable from the rear), a ’58 Chevy wagon, probably a Brookwood.

  3. Nothing beats the feeling of oversleeping, running outside, and realizing your car has been towed.

    It happened to me 3 times in my life. Once, in Indianapolis outside my apartment building, and twice along the Ala Wai Canal in Honolulu.

    Whadda ya gonna do? You have to park somewhere, and when there’s more cars than parking spaces…

    • What beats “the feeling of oversleeping, running outside, and realizing your car has been towed,” Richard, is walking to the parking lot at my local high school after finishing a night-school class required by the University of Delaware and finding my nearly-new, fire-engine red 1964 Plymouth Fury had been stolen. It took 2 weeks for the police to find my car with a rat’s nest of wires pulled out and dangling beneath the dash; my car (it was a 383) never ran the same. Only recently has the awfulness of my feeling of loss from that hapless event receded from my memory bank.

      • I lived in South Africa for 55 years and between 1973 and 2009 I had 12 cars stolen, two of them by policemen! The police managed to recover 7 of them, all electrically damaged, but the other 5 were never seen again. To this day when I arrive back at the parking lot and think my car has been stolen, I still get that sinking feeling until I eventually find it.

  4. They park cars in those lots 3 and 4 deep, bumper to bumper. The guys pushing the Caddy are most likely frustrated and boxed in

    • So why are they all smiling? That just seems like a really strange shot. Be nice to know what was the caption under that in the paper. Interesting display of vintage clothing.

  5. My sister who lived in Philly put her mustang through a hell that should never be inflicted on any automobile. She kept it pieced together for years and it made it cross country a few times when she eventually moved out to Northern California. Ford should have bought it back to send it on a countrywide tour to show it’s tenacity under adverse conditions. By the way, if your going to visit Philly book a hotel with a parking garage.

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