History of ParkingNot Parking

Celebrating 55 Years!

As we celebrate Rich & Associates turning 55 this year, we’re taking a look back at some of our most monumental projects from our first decade! Rich & Associates is proud to have completed three “firsts” of a kind during our initial years!

Topping our list of “firsts” is Stanwix Autopark in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Stanwix Autopark was one of the first constructed mixed-use garages of its kind. It was designed in 1963, and combines 10 levels of parking totaling 700 spaces, ground level first-floor retail space, two floors of office space, and 12 stories of apartments. The garage also features a heated exterior express ramp, and a 76 ft. glass-enclosed carpeted and landscaped sky-walk to Horne’s Department Store! Stanwix goes down as one of our most influential projects and would ultimately pave the way for more mixed-use garages to come from Rich & Associates!

“Harry Shepard was the owner of Stanwix Autopark, I did a project for Harry three years prior (to 1963) while I was working for National Garages”, says Richard C. Rich, PE, founding President of Rich & Associates. “Together, Harry and I successfully completed one of the first self-park parking garages in Tallahassee, Florida. The project was successfully completed on time and below budget! When I left National Garages and went on to form Rich & Associates, Harry contacted me saying he wanted me to re-design his new garage known as Stanwix Autopark in downtown Pittsburgh. Harry and I had talked previously about combining other uses (retail and office spaces, apartments, etc.,) to a parking garage. Mixed-use design became a focal point of the new Stanwix project.”

“During this time, we were doing a lot of converting old attendant based parking lots into self-park parking lots, this was our main focus for the Stanwix project. Harry had an old loan out on his current garage and the only way he was able to convince the lender to allow him to tear down his existing attendant-based garage was to produce documentation outlining the costs and benefits. So, we worked with him analyzing and projecting the savings by transitioning into a self-service parking garage. We were able to demonstrate that the transition to self-service would ultimately result in the operation earning more money per space.”

The Pittsburgh Press published an article on Tuesday, March 17, 1964 stating that “the parking garage at Stanwix Street and Fort Duquesne is breathing its last today as wrecking crews will move in to raze the structure, making way for a 23-story multi-million-dollar public parking garage-office-apartment building which Harry W. Shepard Jr., (developer of the site) regards as unique, even in a city which has blazed the trail in urban renewal.” This new structure would be known as Stanwix Autopark.

This is not the only “first” that Rich & Associates experienced in our initial years. In addition to Stanwix Autopark being one of the first large scale mixed-use garages of its time, we were also responsible for designing what were to be considered the largest above-ground and underground garages at the time.

In 1966 Rich & Associates started the design of a 10,000-car garage (pictured below) at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois as parking consultants to C.F. Murphy Associates. The garage, at the time of completion, was the largest above-grade single parking garage in the world.

Rich & Associates then went on to design the largest underground garage (pictured below) at that time. We were hired by architect Minoru Yamasaki to design a 6,000-space underground garage that was built underneath two triangular office buildings known at that time as the “Theme Towers”, in Los Angeles, California.
Richard C. Rich, PE
President & Founder | Rich & Associates

Fast forward 55 years to the end of 2017, The East 2nd Street Parking Garage in Des Moines, Iowa opens!

“The East 2nd Street Parking Garage for the City of Iowa represents the 14th parking garage project that Rich & Associates has designed as parking engineering consultants to Neumann Monson Architects, of Iowa City. The relationship with Neumann Monson spans more than 30 years and has produced successful parking garages throughout the State of Iowa including Iowa City, Dubuque, Davenport, Ottumwa, Ames and Des Moines.”

“The East 2nd Street (City Hall) Parking Garage was built by the City of Des Moines to support the redevelopment of a public surface parking lot into a mixed-use retail and residential development. The parking structure features 540 parking spaces in six levels. A roof level structure over the top level of parking is designed and engineered to support the installation of PV arrays enabling the structure to achieve net zero energy.”
David Rich
Project Development Director | Rich & Associates

When we look back on the journey of these significant and remarkable 55 years at Rich & Associates we are proud of the foundation our success is built upon. We have accomplished a lot together in our first 55 years, but we believe that our greatest accomplishments still lie ahead of us. Here’s to the next 55!

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