Atlanta residents have submitted their nominations. And now, in the spirit of March Madness and the competitive season in parentheses, it’s time for Atlanta’s Worst Parking Garage’s first tournament to begin!
We fully recognize that parking lots are a necessary evil in a city like Atlanta, at least for now, where the infrastructure has been defined by decades of car thinking. But as we will soon see, they tend to suck the life and vibrancy out of urban places once dedicated to active human uses.
At best, parking lots are utilitarian dead zones with some sort of built-in extra purpose. At worst, they are moneymaking scars.
Then vote for your (least) favorite car park under the photos and descriptions. the the first four voters will move on to the Final Four next week.
Shortly after, the finale will crown/humble Atlanta’s worst parking lot, once and for all.
Now…jump the ball!
Bad on Baker
Location: Baker Street in downtown, just west of Peachtree
Redemption factor: Convenient and heavily fortified liquor store.
Low point: Everything else.
Remark: For $10 a day, this structure at 31 Baker Street offers service for major buildings. Which doesn’t make the experience of being near or in it any less gruesome. This one hasn’t changed much (except the price) for at least 15 years.
block of shame
Location: Spring Street, stretching from 4th to 3rd Street
Redemption factor: The tall trees, when fully leafy, partially conceal the longest and saddest facade.
Low point: Exhibit A on how to annihilate the dynamism of sidewalks.
Remark: We all know the Walk of Fame. Here is the opposite: the Block of Shame. Provocative, bland and blocky, it’s like the Vladimir Putin of centralized urban land uses.
Location: Marietta Street at Ted Turner Drive
Redemption factor: The cute cafe Just Around the Corner.
Low point: Smack dab in a touristy area, offering little engagement.
Remark: While it may be mini, this two-story, half-ass garage in a prime-time corner is nonetheless daunting for those hoping for some real downtown vibrancy. On the bright side, from a practical standpoint, it beats the sea of surface parking that surrounds it.
Literally falling apart
Location: Peeking over the connector, near the south exit of Courtland Street
Redemption factor: Yes indeed.
Low point: The historic but neglected medical arts building to which the garage is attached becomes equally unsightly.
Remark: At first glance, this mess of steel pipes, bricks, and concrete may appear to be leaning and losing things, but Google images show it’s been in roughly the same condition since 2007. Like it’s a consolation. “So ugly and very conspicuous,” as one nominator put it.
Underground (Unfortunately not)
Location: Just north of Metro Atlanta
Redemption factor: A mix of retail businesses along the base of Decatur Street.
Low point: In the late 1950s, the second iteration of the magnificent downtown Kimball House hotel was demolished for it.
Remark: “Big and ugly at a prominent intersection,” as one proponent described it. From Peachtree it almost looks like a smaller Soviet version of Ponce City Market, without all the soul.
Front and center
Location: 90 Central Avenue, near the east edge of the subway
Redemption factor: The GSU’s G bridge sounds arty, if you’re drunk enough.
Low point: Obviously intended for parking only, to the point of being egregious.
Remark: We’ll let the nominator take this one: “Urine-soaked, dark and smoky, and you must descend the death spiral until you’re dazed – an accident or mugging is in your future for sure. “
Location: In the northern blocks of Midtown, where Spring and 18th streets meet
Redemption factor: The Atlanta-specific cityscape mural along one wall.
Low point: Upgrades have recently been made suggesting it remains in place.
Remark: A weird mix of beautiful Georgia granite and a steel car cage, this corner-hogging contraption is literally carved in stone. Described by one proposer as a “monstrosity on top of a mountain”. In effect.
Only mom loves me
Location: Do not leave
Redemption factor: Seriously?
Low point: Instant gag reflexes.
Remark: From an aesthetic point of view, this fucking thing is brutally, completely obnoxious. The kind of structure only a mother can love, until one day she’s just more honest with herself.