Designing the Garage

The d'Humy Motoramp System

When designing the Ivy Street Garage, the architect firm Lockwood, Greene, and Company sent representatives around the nation to inspect parking garage systems and determine which features best suited the location in downtown Atlanta. In the end, they decided to use the d'Humy Motoramp System.


Patented by Fernand E. d'Humy in 1919, the novel design for an inter-floor ramp system used staggered floors to allow shorter, shallower ramps between floors. The system could be implemented in factories, parking garages, and automotive sales buildings, depending on the needs of each.

The Ramp Buildings Corporation was formed to promote the design in architectural and engineering journals and to construction firms building garages in urban centers. In a 1921 issue of Engineering World, Harold F. Blanchard wrote, "The d'Humy motoramp system offers unusual advantages in inter-floor transportation in multi story buildings, and may be applied to factories, warehouses and sales and service buildings."

As parking needs in urban centers increased, the corporation recognized a growing market. They published lengthy catalogs that explained the system, provided variations on the design for different buildings, and even calculated operational costs and profits for garage owners. A 1925 brochure called Building Garages for Profitable Operation suggested that a seven-story garage could earn up to $141,450 a year in profits.

Designing the Garage