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Helix-on-Main Parking Structure Renovation

Revival inspires urban renewal

Project Facts

Location Lexington, Kentucky
Owner Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority
Cost $4 million
Status Completed 2015


When this aging concrete garage reached a point of disrepair that could no longer be ignored, the Lexington Parking Authority called on Walter P Moore to rebrand and reimagine the facility, and in doing so, create a new asset for the community. This exemplary project has inspired other public entities to view parking garages as artistic community assets that can potentially revitalize their business districts to benefit future generations.


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About the project

Four decades after it was originally constructed, the Helix-on-Main parking structure, a 1970s cast-in-place concrete parking garage featuring a distinctive helix ramp, had seen better days. It suffered from extensive concrete deterioration, water infiltration issues, and posed safety concerns due to a lack of essential operational components. While demolishing the garage was considered, it would have exacerbated parking shortages, and the city was uncertain about the future of nearby buildings. 

Instead, the wisest decision was to breathe new life into the structure through extensive repairs. Walter P Moore led this $4 million renovation project which aimed to rebrand the facility, transforming it into an asset for both patrons and the city, and included structural, waterproofing, lighting, signage, and sustainability improvements.

On the exterior of the structure, waterproofing coatings, a stainless-steel panel system, and programmable LED lights transformed the historic garage into a dynamic and colorful enhancement to downtown Lexington. 

Energy-efficient fluorescent lighting with daylight and motion sensors improve visibility and yielded a 50 percent energy savings, while ADA spaces were incorporated into a new layout, making for a safer and more user-friendly patron experience. Operational upgrades also included 24/7 operations, resulting in a revenue increase and more reliable customer service.

Users have an easier time navigating to spaces thanks to PARCS (Parking Access Revenue Control System), which offers real-time space-availability information on LED counters outside garage entrances. What used to be a single-exit “choke point” was resolved by creating three cashier-free lanes, helping to greatly relieve congestion during peak times

The rehabilitation was touted as an overwhelming success that addressed parking concerns, supports the revitalization of the area, and adds an eye-catching modern development to the Lexington cityscape.

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2015 IPI Best Parking Facility Rehabilitation/Restoration