From The Archives: 1980 Parking Garage

They hoped it would solve parking problems for shoppers, but it didn't

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga turned off the parking meters to attract holiday shoppers downtown through Saturday.

There is a long history of trying to improve the parking situation for downtown stores.

42 years ago, shoppers were abandoning downtown for the suburbs.

Before the age of malls, the big department stores were all downtown.

And for Christmas, the city put up extravagant lights and stores created elaborate window displays all to draw shoppers.

1938

1938

But parking was always an issue.

In the years before Hamilton Place finally put a nail in the coffin of downtown department stores, officials hoped a new parking garage could save the stores.

Our video is a story from late 1980 on the opening of the garage and the hopes that went with it.

More parking garages would come to downtown, but they couldn’t save the stores.

That would have to wait another decade for the coming of the Tennessee Aquarium and the Riverfront development that began attracting people back downtown again.

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