At the time of this ramps construction in Madison, only two other cities in the country used this method of parking. The original plan for the lot called for a three deck structure that would hold 192 cars. (Wisconsin State Journal, June 30, 1951)
The first commercial pigeon-hole parking unit in the world was built for the Harry S. Manchester department store, behind Manchester's at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and East Dayton Street. The Manchester pigeon-hole parking unit was six stories high and it held 169 cars. The parking is all done mechanically without a hand touching the auto after the driver steps out. The hydraulically-operated lift moves sideways and vertically and can park 169 cars at an average time of 35 seconds per car when operating at peak efficiency. The photo shows an interior view of the parking unit with the mechanical lift at the far end taking a car up.