Garage designed to blend with surrounding buildings

By Staff
WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE? This is a view of the proposed parking garage as seen from the intersection of 23rd Avenue and Eighth Street, looking southwest. Submitted drawing
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
March 6, 2002
After months of public surveys and sifting through design concepts, city officials and architects Tuesday unveiled the latest plan for a new $7 million downtown parking garage.
Officials said the main idea behind the design is to blend the parking garage in with surrounding structures and businesses so that it doesn't look like a parking garage.
Hartley and Forrest Hibbard, of Carl Walker Inc. an Atlanta based parking planning firm presented their latest plans to the Meridian City Council during Tuesday's regular meeting. The group will continue to work with city officials on design details and said they hope to begin construction by the end of the year.
The look
Mayor John Robert Smith told councilmen he doesn't want the garage to be a structure that appears to be lifeless.
Plans presented by the group showed retail shops on the corner of 23rd Avenue and Eighth Street.
Hartley said the main goal is for the building to have character. He said the building will have the look of many of Meridian's downtown buildings.
The suggested materials in the current design concept call for the exterior of the building to be made from precast concrete materials and brick. The ramps of the garage will be disguised by the building look.
The basics
The six-floor garage will hold 430-450 vehicles and will operate on a 90 degree design concept in which there will be one entrance/exit and all parking will be on a flat surface rather than on a slope.
Hibbard said the 90 degree design is the only way to create the building facade on the outside while maximizing the number of parking spaces on the inside.
Mayor Smith agreed with Hibbard.
City officials say they will continue to meet with the architects in the coming months to iron out further details of the parking garage.

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