Pigeon Hole Parking, 1955

Pigeon Hole Parking came to Portland with the wave of parking-lot mania that swept the city in the 1950s. This one, at SW Stark and Park, lasted until the mid-60s when it was moved two blocks south to SW 9th and Alder. Like many of these parking systems, it was plagued by bad electrics that would strand cars until repairs could be made. The Stark and Park site is still a surface parking lot.

(City of Portland Archives)

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10 Responses to “Pigeon Hole Parking, 1955”

  1. Chuck Says:

    I remember those parking lots well. there was one I believe where Director’s Park is today. Across from wherever the IHOP was. And now that you’ve mentioned it, they were on the news frequently for stranding cars when the elevator broke down. I guess it was a better use of the space than just a surface parking lot.

  2. Alyson Clair Says:

    I LOVE this image.

  3. Jim Says:

    Alyson, it is a fun quirky image, but I gotta say, I’m happy this type of parking structure didn’t become as ubiquitous as downtown’s surface parking lots.

    IMO it’s fun in moderation.

  4. JayinPortland Says:

    My old native city, Newark NJ, went overboard with these years ago and at least a few still exist downtown near NJPAC and Riverfront Stadium.

    In the same vein as Dan Haneckow’s incredible post from July…


    …is this piece, another interesting read (sans pictures, unfortunately) for those interested in the exciting world (sly grin…) of urban parking politics, from the densest large city in America -


  5. Pete Says:

    Wonder how long it took to get your car down? What if there were several people in front of you waiting??

  6. Jim Says:


    Here’s a link a blog with a snippet from Popular Mechanics. http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2008/02/11/pigeonhole-parking-lot/

    Here’s a pidgeonhole parking structure in action, from clip from the 1980 movie, Atlantic City. The chase scene begins at 43 seconds in.

  7. Jim Says:

    “a link TO a blog” and “from A clip from the 1980 movie.”

    Yes, English IS my native language. Sheesh.

  8. Old gas station photos - Page 2 - Pelican Parts Technical BBS Says:

    [...] [...]

  9. louis.lv Says:

    the system is modernized,Maoyuan Parking equipment have the products in pic.If some one is interested in the products.can contact with louis.lv(at)auto-parker.com

  10. Kim Says:

    this lasted longer than the 60s, it was there in the early 70s. I worked in the building on the corner of SW Park and SW Stark and parked here on occasion

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