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Neo

Ugly parking garages...

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Some of the parking garages downtown are absolutely hideous IMO and are in dire need of some sort of makeover. Considering many parking garages are here to stay what can be done to spruce them up a bit? In my online travels I noticed one of my contacts on a photo sharing site I frequent took a photo of a great looking parking garage in Santa Monica that I believe could be done here in Charlotte, especially to those along Church street:

2873108_a165cee8b6.jpg

Copyright Thomas Hawk

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Though not in downtown, I like the spaceage look of the new parking garages at the airport.

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One word, Kudzu. Okay, kidding. But I do like the use of vines and other plants to cover parking garages. Building planting boxes on each level and letting plants grow up or down the walls.

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One word, Kudzu. Okay, kidding. But I do like the use of vines and other plants to cover parking garages. Building planting boxes on each level and letting plants grow up or down the walls.

I too like the look of this. This could definitely clean up the look of some of the bland concrete decks around Charlotte but I think some diversity needs to be used so that each deck has its own charisma.

It bugs me that so many cheap options are out there for turning these hideous structures into pieces of art.

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I agree. While the Santa Monica example may not happen anytime soon I fail to see why there can't be more murals on the side of the garages we have now. They could depict a wide variety of Charlotte interests: Nascar, Whitewater, Banking... I think there have been attempts in the past but the City seems to be intent on keeping much of Uptown too pristine clean.

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This is why Church Street is such a bland, concrete laden corridor south of Trade--it's awful. Maybe the city could mandate that some retail go in the ground floor of these garages (even though they aren't city owned, I don't think)?

I like the funky Santa Monica example, but I also like this more traditional example from Greenville, SC:

65715904_5a41d73f54.jpg

(Photo courtesy of RestedTraveler)

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Chapel Hill has really embraced murals on the sides of buildings and parking decks.

mural_musicalyouth.jpg

mural_patchwork.jpg

mural_hands.jpg

mural_pencil.jpg

My Favorite

mural_seaturtles.jpg

mural_postcards.jpg

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The stretch of Church with the parking decks is horrible, and what makes it worse is that it could be fixed quickly and made an interesting place with a bit of work on the ground floor.

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One word, Kudzu. Okay, kidding. But I do like the use of vines and other plants to cover parking garages. Building planting boxes on each level and letting plants grow up or down the walls.

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I don't know about ya'll, but i'd rather see an ugly parking garage than a beautiful parking lot :)

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It's not so nice to look at in the winter.

That's not necessarily true. Yes, Kudzu looks horrid in the winter but there are types of ivy that grow and look good year round. Chicago has buildings with ivy that looks good all year and if it can grow in Chicago I know it can grow here considering they have temperature extremeties far exceeding ours.

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post-9752-1186674598_thumb.jpg

Here is one example downtown of a parking garage that isn't so mundane and has mixed use. 7th Street Station -- also has Reid's Grocer, LaVeccias seafood restaurant, and Brixx pizza. Plus those clever little colored glass thingy's that make cute sounds when you touch them -- my favorite is "children laughing".

post-9752-1186674598_thumb.jpg

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What kind of ivy grows on CMC-Main's visitor parking deck? It's covered in it. Perhaps ivy covered parking decks could help offset some of the CO2 from all the cars.

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4th Street is particuarly bad for the pedestrians because of all the garages. 2nd and 3rd aren't much better. All basicly within a couple blocks of Tryon. Bleh.

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Yes! The CLT definitely needs some wall murals...!

There are numerous creative, artistic ways that parking garages - and many ugly buildings, for that matter - could be beautified.

There's one I kinda like on Trade St, by the train tracks near Johnson & Wales... it's not even that pretty, but it's covered with loosely attached metal discs, as far as I can tell, that wiggle as the breeze blows them, and cumulatively the entire wall seems to swirl and undulate. I could stare at that forever...

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In Raleigh, there is a a big snafu between the State and City over a proposed State owned parking deck. The State is selling off to a developer 6 blocks of land with alot surface parking and needs to replace it fast. The City started its normal review of parking decks which recenttly has somehow strongly emphasized or required commercial space on the ground floor (at least in downtown I think). The State was so irritated that they passed a law specifically exempting itself from City review of any of its developments within six blocks of the old capital. Jus thought it was a good story to share....its so hard to get parking structures that keep a city core pedestrian friendly.....mods...hope a tidbit on this from Raleigh is ok.....I enjoy keeping up with Charlotte's growth as it often (usually) hits a learning curve on some issue before we do.....cheers!

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