Moving Up

In the 1930s New York tackled its congestion problem by parking cars in the sky — for 50 cents an attendant would drive your car onto a hydraulic elevator and hoist it as much as 24 stories above street level, where it remained until you returned to claim it.

One “hotel for autos” had space to park a thousand cars, but it was soon obsolete — cars grew too big to fit in the stalls, and underground parking proved to be a cheaper solution. Kent Automatic Garages folded barely three years after it started, and the sites of its marvels are just anonymous office buildings.

(Thanks, Ron.)

03/26/2022 UPDATE: Hydraulic lifts are still being used! (Thanks, Jim.)