By the early 1920s, automobiles had become the primary mode of transportation for downtown Kansas City commuters. The Grand Avenue Garage answered the call for additional parking.
Opened in 1921 at 718 Grand Avenue, the multi-storied garage was unique for its day. Engineered by E. H. Gill and built by the McClure Construction Company, the concrete two-story design had brown brick cladding with terra cotta accents and multi-light metal windows across each side. Its single ramp design, meaning it had four one-way ramps to each level, held 175 cars. A third-story expansion in 1922 accommodated increased demand.
Over the years, other services were offered. A window sign at the entrance stated: Cars stored, washed, polished, oiled. Parking for the first hour cost 25 cents, graduating to 75 cents for 12 hours, and up to one dollar for 24 hours. By the 1950s, self-parking replaced garage attendants.
In 2015 the Grand Avenue Garage was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places; sadly, the building was razed in 2018. While this historic garage is no longer with us, its classic neon sign will shine brightly from its permanent parking spot at LUMI.