The Tunnel Garage and its 188 parking spaces, built just as the Holland Tunnel and the automobile were first offering their promise of a quick exit from the city, is ancient history. In its place will rise an 8-story apartment building with 48 apartments, 7,340 square feet for stores (and 117 parking spaces). Because of this land use change, a net of 71 motorists each day will find it harder to park in SoHo, more or less removing that many cars from the roads. Meanwhile, households and businesses will find space in the building, further enlivening this pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.
I’ve been glad to see automobile-related uses vanishing from Manhattan, including many West Side gas stations and this garage, at the corner of Broome and Thompson Streets. In this case, there was an argument to save the garage on aesthetic reasons. Actually, there was something to be said for that old, pleasantly rounded facade and its “proto-Art-Deco” Model T medallion at the corner (pictured). But the traffic decongestion and strenghtened neighborhood fabric easily outweigh the loss.