We’ve made it to the ’70s!
Not Parking/History of Parking
1 Comment

We’ve made it to the ’70s!

Continuing Our 55-year Anniversary Celebration!

As we continue to celebrate our 55-year anniversary here at Rich & Associates, we’re looking back in to the 1970′ at some of our firm’s more noteworthy projects!

The ’70s were a notable decade at R&A for many reasons. During this period, we expanded our services to include the private development and operation of parking garages and designed a garage that would later be recognized on a list of historic places worthy of preservation by the National Register of Historic Places.

First on our list is the Davenport Bank & Trust Garage in Davenport, IA.

Rich & Associates was first hired by the Bank to provide concept design studies for a parking garage to serve the Bank’s existing building. During the process, the project evolved to include four floors of new banking facilities adjacent to the garage and one level of office space above the garage.

Before moving into detailed design, the bank president, knowing of Richard C. Rich’s personal relationship with renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki, asked if we could engage Mr. Yamasaki in the architectural façade design of the project. As a favor to Dick Rich, Mr. Yamasaki agreed to provide the façade design on one condition. The condition was that his name and his firm’s name were not to be associated with the project in any manner. At that point in his career the scope of the project was not something that he or his firm normally took on.

The project was completed in 1971 and included a 220-space parking garage, 36,000 square feet of banking facilities adjacent to the garage and 28,000 square feet of office space atop the garage. On May 12, 2016 the Davenport Bank & Trust Garage was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places Program and placed on the official list of the Nation’s Historic Places worthy of preservation. The Davenport Bank & Trust Garage is noted as being exceptionally significant because of its multi-use function as a parking garage and office, unique within Davenport, and as a distinct high-style parking garage that exemplifies late Modern Movement Architecture.

Second is the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Garage in Oklahoma City, OK.

This unique 1,500 space parking structure spans 3 city blocks. It features 28,000 square feet of ground level retail spaces open to 30-foot-wide interior light core in the center of the garage. The light core provided natural light into the lower parking levels and ground level area for restaurant seating. An articulated glass enclosed stair and elevator towers extends 26 feet from the parking structure providing connectivity to an adjacent hotel.

Rich & Associates provided parking consulting, architectural and engineering design services for this project which was completed in 1972

Coming in at number 3 on our ’70s list is the Locust Mall Parking Structure in Des Moines, IA.

In 1976 Rich & Associates provide parking consulting, design and engineering services for this mixed-use parking garage in downtown Des Moines. The Locust Mall Parking Structure, as it became known, was the result of a revitalization program in Downtown Des Moines, IA.. The site was surrounded by two large office buildings, a major department store and the site of a new hotel. Through careful planning, design and engineering, Rich & Associates was developed a successful parking plan that included parking for 711 cars and 96,000 square feet of retail spaces. The Locust Mall Parking Structure also featured an overhead bridge connection to a major department.

Rounding out our list of memorable ’70s projects at Rich & Associates is the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, MI.
This project represents the first parking garage privately financed, developed and operated by the firm through an affiliate company now known as MEDPark. Rich & Associates was first engaged by Hurley Hospital to complete campus parking demand study. At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that the Hospital was deficient of parking needed to support existing campus activities and the future construction of a new medical office building. Due to certificate of need restrictions, the Hospital decided to solicit proposals from private developers to design/build, own and operate a 660-space parking garage.

In 1978. the principals of Rich & Associates formed an affiliate company and was one of four (4) competing proposals submitted. We were successfully awarded the contract to develop and operate the parking garage as well the 45,000 square foot medical office building. We owned and operated both buildings for several years before eventually selling the facilities back to the Hospital. Since this time, Rich & Associates and MEDPark would go on to privately develop more than $90 million in parking projects and operate more than 10,000 parking spaces.

Celebrating 55 Years!
Not Parking/History of Parking
1 Comment

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!

Sign-up for our monthly newsletter and get the latest in R&A news and fun interesting stuff we think you may like! Don't worry, we promise not to bombard your inbox.

By submitting this form, you are granting: Rich & Associates, Inc., 26877 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 208, Southfield, MI, 48033, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
Infographics/History of Parking

Infographics: Marketing Your Parking

What’s the point of having parking if no one can find it?

Marketing your parking is just as important as having it! That’s why we’re here to give you some tips from our parking pros on how to marketing your city’s parking effectively. From branding to position of your signage, our planning team knows how to help your city maximize it’s parking potential!


History of Parking

The Evolution of Parking


It’s Friday night, you’re elated. Because it’s your first MLB game of the summer and you have great seats right along the first base line. You get off the exit and follow the signs to the parking structure that conveniently sits beside the stadium. You park your car on the 4th floor and take the elevator down to the main floor. It’s a short walk to the stadium, and you make it in time for the first pitch. Have you ever stopped to realize how parking structures make attending major events so convenient? Probably not. But you have the parking consultants, engineers, and designers from the past and present to thank for their years of innovation for your convenient trip to the ball game.

The history of vehicle parking, of course, starts with the invention of the automobile. But while the Model-T was first produced in 1908, it wasn’t until 1912 (when Detroit Henry Ford’s innovative assembly line made cars widely available in the United States) that the need for vehicle parking was even considered. By the 1920’s, there was a major demand for vehicle parking, and some very creative thinkers were devising ways to meet that demand. Twenty-five years ago Rich & Associates gathered copies of many historical parking related patents that illustrate some of the creativity in parking back then.

Below is a patent from 1932 for a combination tenement and storage building. While it was conceived to be applicable to many uses, this image illustrates a combined parking garage and another occupancy use. 

Although the implementation of a mixed-use parking structure is not a necessarily a new concept, mixed- use garage design is extremely popular today. Many of today’s structures are combined with other uses including commercial, retail, transit functions, athletic fields on roof level, bowling alleys, medical clinics, etc. With the investment and development of autonomous vehicles, the future of the parking industry faces an unknown. Will the innovation of autonomous vehicles result in a decrease in the demand for parking?  Some people predict that the demand for parking will cease to exist. It may, but the timing is difficult to predict. 

With uncertainty about the future of parking looming, the evolution of the parking structure is in next-use programming and design. Rich & Associates’ team of engineers and designers are working on solutions to the unknown future, developing design solutions to accommodate a change in use of the structure in the future to residential or office space. This provides the owner with the resources needed to meet today’s parking demand and the ability to repurpose all or portions of the parking structure to another use should the predicted reduction in parking demand be realized.