In 1957, Enco Engineering and Richard C. Rich designed a multi-purpose complex for the Dayton Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This new structure was built to replace an obsolete 400-car attendant parking garage, warehouses, and retail stores. Built to provide for a 700-car, self-service parking deck, this new structure included retail shops on the east side of the first floor, warehousing in a sub-basement, delivery truck docks in the first basement, docking and loading space for large trucks on the west side of the first floor, and warehouse space on the mezzanine. The garage was constructed as a sloped-floor, 60-degree angle parking with a spiral down ramp. At the time, the supporting columns of the open area parking decks were designed to support two additional floors.
Subsequently, in 1963, the Dayton Company requested designs for expanding the use of the structure, including additional parking levels and a top floor exhibition hall. It was determined that a 20,000 square foot Exhibition Hall, seating 2,000, could be added above the additional floors of the already existing parking garage.
The exhibition hall, which is also a clear-span structure, was built with large folding doors to separate the interior spaces and has been used for a wide variety of functions. This new area has a complete stage and dressing room unit, and a large loading door opening from the parking deck area. It connects directly to the store, and also with the parking areas.
Here is what Richard C. Rich recalls from the 1963 requests to expand the structure to accommodate for a top floor Exhibition Hall.
“In 1963 I got a call from Daytons Department store in Minneapolis (having done the original garage in 1957) they requested I re-design the structure to accommodate for two more floors of parking. They also asked if they could put an exhibition hall on the top (8th) floor. We had several meetings regarding the exhibition hall and agreed that there would be sufficient strength on the already standing building to support their new requests. They wanted to connect the new exhibition hall to the 8th floor of the already existing department store.
During the discussions we asked what kind of exhibitions’ they were going to be hosting in the new hall since they requested sliding doors so they could partition off the hall and use it for multiple functions. The discussions led to the talk of bringing in a circus to the new exhibition hall which led to the question of what kind of animals will be in this circus. The reply was elephants and other types of animals. I asked how they were going to get the elephants up to the 8th floor of the store and they said they were going to walk them up the parking floors. I looked at him and said I would have to check that out because I didn’t know how much an elephant weighed, but judging from their size it was going to be more than the sloped floors of the garage could handle. During our break I called the zoo and asked what a typical circus elephant weighed, they told me give or take 8,000lbs. Since an elephant will have two feet on the ground at any one time, it would be 4,000lbs of footprint at a time, far exceeding the live load of the parking floors. I went back to the meeting and suggested that walking the elephants up the parking floors would not work and would result in large cracks in the floors. We decided to put an outdoor hatch on the back side of the building, so that if they ever had the big elephants they could lift them by crane and slip them in the back side of the building.
We went ahead with the project and designed the entire building with the interior exhibition hall. During the actual operations they decided it would be too much to bring the elephants onto a crane and into the back of the exhibition hall. The circus decided to bring in baby elephants which caused a minor uproar. Because they were taking the baby elephants up the passenger elevators and up to the exhibition hall, as you could imagine, they spent a lot of time cleaning up the large deposits of dung in the elevator that were left behind from the elephants.”
*The Minneapolis multi-purpose parking structure as basically designed and constructed.
*The complete additions which increased the parking facilities and the Exhibition Hall which increases the utilization of the structure.
*Interior of the Exhibition Hall with mechanized partition in place for smaller exhibits demonstrates the many possible combinations of usage available, one large hall or a group of smaller areas which may be used simultaneously, large folding doors were installed to separate spaces within the Exhibition Space.
*Public acceptance of facilities of this type is obviously indicated in this use of the Exhibition Hall.
*This is a page from Mr. Rich’s project journal from 1958. This image details the price per square foot and price per parking space ($2,426) in which it cost to construct Daytons Dept. Store parking garage in 1958.
Here’s what’s currently happening in the parking industry!
- Passport, the global leader in mobility solutions has announced a $5M investment to expand their Platform – This platform will help connect multiple modes of transportation and payments, and provide a way for cities to understand, manage, and collaborate with an increasingly complex ecosystem of mobility services. New modes of shared transportation, from ridesharing to dockless scooters, hold a promise for improving how citizens move around their cities, but cities across North America need new tools and systems to effectively manage these emergent modes of transportation. Passport has set out to partner with municipalities to create a bridge between city infrastructure, like curb space, and private sector mobility companies that interact with people using that space.
- Airports introduce loyalty programs and discounts to compete against Uber and Lyft – Airports throughout the U.S. are taking a cue from airlines, launching or developing loyalty programs of their own. They include free parking after they use an airport lot for a certain number of days. Some airports are also trying to make airport parking more convenient by allowing drivers to reserve a spot close to terminals. These are some of the measures airport executives are considering to encourage travelers to park in their lots and garages, as ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have surged in popularity. Parking is an important source of revenue for airports, sometimes second only to the fees airports collect from airlines like terminal rent and landing fees. Airports are now scrambling to protect this key income stream as more travelers opt to leave their cars at home and take an Uber, Lyft or shuttle to the airport.
- The first self-driving shuttles to hit the streets in Columbus, OH. – May mobility, a Michigan-based start-up will operate the shuttles. “This pilot will shape future uses of this emerging technology in Columbus and the nation.” Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther says. The shuttles will start running the route this week (September 20, 2018), without passengers. The three shuttles will start accepting passengers in December. May Mobility plans to operate the vehicles from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, said company CEO Edwin Olson.
Domino’s testing self-driving pizza delivery – Ford and Domino’s are testing out a specially-equipped Ford Fusion that comes not only with self-driving technology but also an oven. To get their pizzas, customers will have to enter a number on the touchpad, then a back window will lower, revealing the pizza. Over the next five weeks, randomly selected customers around Ann Arbor, Michigan, will be offered the option of getting their pizza delivered by the hi-tech “driverless” car.
- In Flagstaff, AZ., we spent a full week in July conducting a parking study update consisting of 48 blocks in the Downtown area!
- In Boyne City, MI., we conducted a week-long study at the end of June reviewing parking pertaining primarily to the downtown area, and will be making recommendations to meet the communities current and future needs.
- In Adrian, MI., we will be assessing the current and future parking conditions of Downtown Adrian to provide the city with improvements to their parking system.
- In Ypsilanti, MI., Our team will be working to create a long-term, sustainable parking strategy including a supply and demand assessment; recommendations for both infrastructure and parking system management; recommendations to develop, deploy, coordinate, or support alternate modes; and a financing and implementation strategy.
“A Northwest Airlines jetliner returned safely to Miami after it was hijacked from Milwaukee to Havana, Cuba, with 60 passengers aboard, by a man armed with a hatchet and claiming to have a bomb hidden in his briefcase“.
This is the opening line to an article published in the 1971 edition of the Milwaukee Sentinel. One of those 60 passengers aboard the hijacked flight to Cuba was our very own president, Richard C. Rich. We’re back this month with another one of his once in a lifetime stories from his first 55-years at Rich & Associates. If you thought the Parking Industry wasn’t exciting…think again!
“The plane, a Boeing 727 landed in Miami after being in control of the hijacker for about 8 hours. Architect Richard C. Rich, 39, was on his way home to his suburban Detroit home from Nicaragua, where he is doing Architectural work, when he stopped in Milwaukee Thursday to visit his parents”…Here is what Richard C. Rich recalls from his unplanned and unexpected trip to Cuba!
“People may think it’s pretty boring doing parking garages but being in the industry has really afforded me some experiences that otherwise couldn’t be. One of the most exciting was a return trip from a project in Nicaragua. I decided to stop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to visit my parents on my way back to Detroit from Nicaragua. I spent the night in Milwaukee and my parents drove me to the airport the next morning. I got on the Northwest flight to Detroit, sat in the second row in first class and the plane took off.
Everything seemed normal until there was some kind of commotion coming from the back end of the plane. The next thing I knew there was a man standing at the doorway to the cockpit with a hatchet in one hand and a briefcase in the other, demanding to talk to the captain of the airplane. I think it was the flight attendant that got him on the intercom, told the man to be calm and that we had to land in Detroit to get refueled.’
Some of the people in first class with me left for the back of the airplane once the hijacker approached our section. Two or three of us remained in first class. I figured I paid for first class so I might as well stay there, since it wasn’t going to be any different in coach. But I seemed to be the best target sitting in the second row so I asked the hijacker if I could move a couple of rows back and he said ‘OK’.
When we landed in Detroit there was quite a bit of discussion on the plane. The captain parked the plane in a field far away from the terminal and I could see activity around the airplane from my window. The captain and one of the crew came back to talk to the hijacker when he said that he wanted to go to Algeria. They explained to him that we were on a Boeing 727 and that this plane didn’t have enough fuel, even with a refill, to get to Algeria. So they asked him if he had a second choice like Cuba, and he said ‘yes’. The plane was refueled and we left for Cuba. I don’t remember much discussion after that.
I usually carried a small camera on my business trips and I kept thinking ‘he appears to be accommodating enough to respond to us, I bet he would let me take his picture standing there with the hatchet and the briefcase’. But as chance would have it, my camera was packed away in my checked luggage.
When we landed in Havana, the Cuban authorities got on the airplane and the hijacker handed over the hatchet and briefcase. When they opened up the briefcase and handed it back to him, we all realized that there was no bomb. The Cuban authorities took the hijacker off of the airplane, and the next thing I knew we were ushered off of the airplane into immigration. We were questioned regarding our names, occupations, addresses, and a few other things. We were then ushered into a room that looked like it could’ve been a cafeteria. They were walking around selling some cigars and cigarettes, and we eventually had a meal. One of the flight attendants came over to my table and said ‘you better enjoy the meal, it’s going to be the most expensive meal you’ve ever had.’ She said that over in the corner there was somebody from the Swiss Embassy negotiating with the pilot for a ransom to be paid for the airplane to take off and I recall her saying it was going to cost something like $200,000.00!
After the meal, and I guess a successful negotiation, they put us back on the airplane and we took off for Miami. In Miami, we had to go through customs and immigration again. It was surprising to me that customs asked everyone who had purchased Cuban cigars to turn them over. Fortunately for me I didn’t smoke cigars so I didn’t waste any money. They asked all of the first-class passengers to come to a specific table. They called us by name and at that point I turned and went to a table where they had about 5 pictures spread out. They asked all of us from first class to identify the man from the pictures. I immediately recognized him and pointed to his picture. I was amazed how they had pictures of him so quickly. They then put us on another airplane to Detroit and there wasn’t much discussion during the flight. We finally landed in Detroit late or very early in the morning.”
- 1. The first day of autumn is known as the autumnal equinox. On this day, the number of hours of daylight and darkness are equal. This is because the sun is aligned with the center of the Earth between the north and south of the planet. The other equinox occurs in the spring, which arrives in the third week of March in the Northern Hemisphere.
- 2. In Greek mythology, autumn was the time when Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld. During this time, Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, was distraught and the ground grew sparse and cold. When Persephone returned in the springtime, plants and life bloomed anew because of Demeter’s happiness.
- 3. Those who live closest to the equator, which is the center of the planet, never experience the season of autumn. Around the equator, the temperature remains consistently warm.
- 4. Yellow, orange and variations thereof always reside in the pigmentation of tree leaves, but they are overpowered by the abundance of green from the chlorophyll in the leaves. Come autumn, when the sun weakens and days grow shorter, the amount of chlorophyll in leaves diminishes, allowing the other pigments in the leaves to show through.
- 5. Red and purple leaves are actually caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of the leaves.
- 6. Fall is a peak migration time for many species of birds. During autumn, birds will fly to other areas seeking more hospitable climates. The Arctic tern journeys about 11,000 miles each way for its annual migration. That is like going all the way across the United States about three and a half times
- 7. Contrary to popular belief, squirrels who have spent the entire autumn collecting acorns and other foods do not hibernate for the winter. Rather, they spend the majority of their time in nests they built to shelter them from harsh weather. When squirrels do come out in winter, they are usually tunneling under the snow to find the food they buried during the fall.
- 8. Several cultures have ancient traditions that coincide with autumn. For example, the Chinese celebrate the Moon Festival to give thanks for a successful summer harvest.
- 9. Halloween is a large part of autumn. The concept of wearing masks and costumes hails from ancient Celtic tradition. The Celts believed ghosts roamed on Halloween, and people wore disguises to hide from the spirits.
- 10. You’re bound to see pumpkins as part of autumn decor. The pumpkin was first named by the Greeks. They called this edible orange item “pepon,” which means “large melon.”
- 11. Evergreen trees will not lose their leaves like deciduous trees. Their leaves, also called needles, are covered with a thick wax. This wax protects the inner components of the needles, preventing them from freezing.
- 12. Autumn also signals another colorful spectacle apart from the tree leaves. The aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, tends to be visible this time of year. This is because geomagnetic storms are about twice as likely to occur during the fall thanks to cool evening weather.
*Sources: Richmond Times-Dispatch Newspaper
Beaumont Health, a nonprofit hospital with headquarters in Royal Oak, Michigan, is consolidating its shared services employees from 16 different locations to the First Center building in Southfield, Michigan. In 2018 and 2019 some 3,000 Beaumont employees will be relocating to the renovated office building.
In order to accommodate the large employee population surface and structured parking facilities are underway. Currently under construction is the new South Parking Deck, design by Rich & Associates in association with Neumann Smith Architecture. The new South Parking Deck will provide 600 parking spaces to the campus and is designed to be expanded horizontally in the future.
President of Rich & Associates Goes to Extraordinary Lengths to Prove Integrity of Firm’s Parking Garage Design…
This is the story of the extraordinary lengths Mr. Rich went to prove the integrity of his design of a garage in Dayton Ohio in the late 1950s, as told by Richard C. Rich.
“This was a two-module garage with a sloped floor and a parapet wall in between that was approximately 24-30 inches in height and 4-5 inches in width. The City (Engineers) would not approve the garage to open, maintaining that the parapet wall wasn’t strong enough to withstand the impact of a car going between 12-15mph and directly hitting it. It was hard for me to understand how a car would get going that speed in a garage and into the wall”. We sent some of our engineers down to discuss this problem with them further. Our engineers came back stating that the City did not budge on their findings regarding the wall. The City had hired some independent engineers of their own who came up with a formula showing that the wall would break down upon impact from a car hitting it directly at 12-15 mph. I’m not a formula kind of man, so I went with our engineers to the next meeting to resolve the issue so that our client could open their garage.
I had advised the client (owner of the garage) that I wanted to test the wall before the meeting. I told him of my plan to drive a car into the upper level parapet wall at the 12 to 15 mph speed. He volunteered to loan me his car, but I refused since I was not sure myself what was going to happen to the car hitting the wall at that speed. So, I rented a car and made sure it was fully insured. It took me 5-7 tries to hit the wall without hitting the brakes first. I finally got up the nerve and drove the rented car into the wall at the required speed. There was not much of a mark on the wall at all, but there was certainly damage to the front of the car. I left everything as it was at the scene of impact and then went to the meeting with the City.
As everyone was discussing the formula I said ‘I don’t know anything about your formulas, but I tried it out and I’d like you to come over and see what had happened.’ At that point the whole group, including our engineers, the City and their independent engineers, went over to take a look at what had happened to the wall. The wall showed very little distress, just a few scratches from where the car had impacted it. The car, on the other hand, suffered front end damage. They all reviewed the site and concluded that their formulas did not work because it did not treat the car as a compressible object. The car absorbed the shock of the impact resulting in front end damage, but the wall showed little impact. Upon review, the wall passed the City’s inspection and our client was able to open the garage.”
“It was truly an experience. It’s tough not to automatically hit the brakes when you see the wall coming at 12-15mph.”
For almost three quarters of a century, Richard C. Rich has provided his knowledge and expertise in the planning and design of parking to thousands of clients throughout the United States, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Central and South America. “Dick” (is how he likes to be called), is the owner and founder of Rich & Associates, Inc., a Parking Consulting, Planning, Engineering, and Architectural firm based in Southfield, MI. This year, Rich & Associates is celebrating a big milestone as this is our 55-year anniversary. As part of our celebration we want to acknowledge our founder and one of the nation’s leading parking consultants.
Dick’s career in the parking industry started in 1948 during his freshmen year in college at Marquette University in Wisconsin. Dick took a job at National Garages as a night shift parking attendant for 90 cents an hour at a downtown parking lot to pay his way through school. “I wore myself out running around moving cars,” Dick said, “I often thought there must be an easier way.” His keen sense of perspective for servicing the needs of the parking lot users allowed him to advanced quickly to a night supervisor’s position where he oversaw 5 parking lots and 2 garages. Dick even held a record and won an award for parking the most cars in a single day in a lot that held 40 spaces, (a total of 10 rows that were 4 cars deep) in which he ran more than 200 cars that day! When National Garages (the firm that employed Dick) decided they needed to establish a design department, they looked to him to start it. National Garages decision to move Dick to Detroit to start the design department was influenced by Dicks newly obtained engineering degree from Marquette University, and all of the previous design contributions he had made during his time of employment. While at National Garages, Dick earned a reputation as one of the industry’s most creative designers and would eventually rise to the position of Chief Designer at the firm.
However, in the early 1960’s the thought of becoming an entrepreneur began to appeal to him. While he achieved great success at National Garages, he knew that he would have much more creative freedom if he struck out on his own. So, in 1963, ten years after beginning his career with National Garages, he started his own parking design and planning firm, Richard C. Rich & Associates (now Rich & Associates), in Detroit.
Almost from the beginning, Rich & Associates was a national success, working with some of the architectural industry’s giants. Dick and his team were entrusted with the design of some of the country’s most notable parking structures. Rich & Associates was in the vanguard of the parking industry, responsible for some of the largest garages built at that time, and one of the first firms to see the benefits of mixed-use structures. Under Dick’s leadership, the firm pioneered a comprehensive parking needs and feasibility study approach that has resulted in the successful completion of more than 500 studies across the country.
Dick was also an innovator when it came to parking management. In the late 1970s, he became the first and the only parking consultant to privately finance, develop and operate his own parking structure. He used his ownership opportunity as a platform for testing new parking technologies, products, and design ideas to improve the firm’s clients projects. Dick was the first in the country to use neon signage as an experiment in a garage in Des Moines Iowa which was published in the Des Moines press as one of the garages with the best signage in the City. Dick was also able to use his own facility to compare new lighting fixtures which allowed the firm to be on the cutting edge of new technology.
After 65 years in the business and 55 years at the head of Rich & Associates, Dick Rich continues to go strong. He is proud of the fact that there are thousands of garages in use throughout North America and overseas that he and his firm had a critical role in designing. The journey we have been on, reminiscing over our past 55-year, has been a melding and culmination of Dick’s and his firm’s work.
The firm’s thorough grasp of the theoretical and practical applications in parking design is born from a combination of designing more than 3,000 parking garages and the firm’s private development and management of its own parking facilities. Dick has over the years, successfully built and held together a truly world class team of parking designers and consultants at Rich & Associates. Fostering what at one time was an evolutionary environment that has morphed into a genuinely revolutionary, 21st Century state-of-the-art parking, planning, design, and engineering firm. “As far as I’m concerned, this is the most exciting industry there is,” says Dick. “Transportation is constantly evolving, and there is no end to the opportunities we have for new discoveries. Why would I give this up?”
1) What is your fondest memory of the last 55-years at R&A?
“Meeting Minoru Yamasaki and being his consultant for about 5 years until his death and establishing a relationship that allowed me to continue our work with the Yamasaki firm.”
2) What is your funniest memory of the last 55-years at R&A?
“There was a parking operator that contacted me who had about 10-15 locations in the city that we did some consulting for to help improve his parking lots and to improve his income. We asked for his financial figures to input them into the computer and after we ran all of the material that he sent us, it was obvious that he wasn’t making any money. I called him and his response was,” “I sent you the wrong set of books, those are the ones we pay taxes on, there’s a factor of 3 you’ve got to multiply all the numbers by!”
3) What is the greatest lesson you have learned in the parking industry?
“Security for the cars and for the patrons is number 1. Whatever you do you’ve got to make it easy on the patron, and make sure he or she is safe and secure while in the garage. That’s why we are an advocate, starting in the mid ‘80s, of TV monitoring of our own parking structures and recommending it to all of our clients. One of our own structures in Des Moines had sound monitors and TV cameras. If there was a loud scream in any one aisle the cameras adjacent to that row and in that row were capturing video so we could see exactly what was going on.”
4) What is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to for work in the last 55-years?
“Cali, Columbia. The first project I did down there was in the late ‘60s, I did a parking garage where we convinced them to put a 12-story apartment house on top of the garage. The owner became one of my best friends and our relationship continued for more than 3 decades until his death.”
5) What is the best advice you have received and the best advice you can give to somebody in this industry?
“Do the best you can with what you’ve got & pay attention to the little details.”
* The Detroit Free Press
*The Parking Professional60
- Over 80% of the car crashes in the U.S.A. are caused by driver error – Autonomous technology could perceive the environment better resulting in less traffic accidents.
- People who have difficulties with driving, such as the disabled and the elderly, would be able to experience the freedom of a car.
- Commute times would be drastically reduced – autonomous vehicles would allow traffic to be coordinated more easily.
- Speed limits could be increased ultimately shortening commute times.
- A self-driving car could park itself after dropping off the passenger.
- Self-driving cars mean fuel savings.
- Driverless cars would likely be unaffordable for many people – likely costing over $100,000 per vehicle.
- Truck drivers and taxi drivers would ultimately lose their jobs as self driving technology takes over.
- A computer malfunction or glitch in the system could cause a worse crash then any human error.
- Privacy concerns would arise – the cars would rely heavily on the collection of user information. Hackers could get into the vehicles software causing a big privacy and safety concern.
- Certain weather elements such as heavy rain or snow could interfere with sensory technology.
- Road infrastructure would need to undergo major upgrades to work in conjunction with autonomous vehicles.
- How would police or other emergency vehicles interact with driver less vehicles in the case of an accident or crime – who would be at fault?
There are many other pros and cons, and certainly a lot of unanswered questions. Questions we get asked most frequently from our clients include:
- Will the advancement of autonomous vehicles and the evolution of the car industry greatly reduce the need for parking in our downtowns, campuses and developments?
- When will we will start to see reductions in parking demand?
- What do we do if our downtown or campus needs parking today?
- What would we do with our existing parking facilities?
- What impacts will this have on revenues needed to pay off existing debt?
- How do we design our parking garages to meet today’s needs and accommodate the future?
“There are no concrete predictions when the advancement in autonomous vehicles and the change in the mobility model will be wide spread. It is apparent from studying hundreds of articles and reports over the past several years, that the industry and industry observes have not reached a consensus on a definitive time frame when this technology will drastically change the way we get around.”
So, what, for example, is a city or town to do when parking is needed to sustain current and near term economic growth in their downtowns? What is a hospital campus to do when parking is needed to improve access to health services?
“We advise our clients that if there is no other means to mitigate the need for parking, move forward with building the needed parking lot or structure, and during the process, consider designing for adaptability.”
“Parking can be designed to be adaptable in a number of ways. Structured facilities can be engineered for future conversion to other uses such as office space or residential. We recently designed a hospital parking structure where a portion of the structure was eventually converted to medical office space.”
“However, as pointed our earlier, nobody knows when the global change in mobility will dramatically impact the need for parking. As you consider the various approaches to designing parking with the ability to adapt to this uncertain future, the initial cost premiums to do so should be weighed against project economics and the long-term benefits.” – David Rich