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  Riverfront Parking Deck, Page 44Riverfront Parking Deck
110 S. Poplar Street, #400, Wilmington, DE 19801

Wilmington, Delaware
Total Square Feet: 137,600
Construction Period: Oct 2002 to Dec 2003 

ARCHITECT: TEVEBAUGH ASSOCIATES - 2 Mill Road, #210, Wilmington, DE 19806 www.tevebaugh.com
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc. - 550 Township Line Road, #100, Blue Bell, PA 19422
ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Paragon Engineering - 708 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, DE 19809
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: LDR International - 9175 Guilford Road, #100, Columbia, MD 21046
COST ESTIMATOR: EDiS Company - 110 S. Poplar Street, #400, Wilmington, DE 19801

In 1998 the Wilmington Train Station -- Riverfront District became the central focus of an urban renewal plan to convert existing utilized building space into a vibrant complex. With the revitalization of the Riverfront District, and the increased need for parking for commuters, AMTRAK riders, new corporate spaces and visitors, structured parking became an immediate necessity.

From its inception, the new Riverfront Parking Deck on the Christina River was no ordinary parking garage. The originality of the design stems from architecture respectful of its surroundings and drawing on the exceptional influences of architect Frank Furness. Best known for his highly ornamented landmarks in Philadelphia, Furness fashioned railroad architecture in the Victorian style; much of this existing work is highly visible and concentrated in downtown Wilmington. The design team sought not only to create a functional, efficient parking structure that would serve the increasing transportation demands of the city, but also to design a striking building that would complement and enhance the scenery of the surrounding area.

The design of the parking deck required the design team to adopt an innovative approach to the project and the site. The site, a former surface parking lot, was adjacent to the elevated AMTRAK stone viaduct (circa 1900) that carries the heavily traveled AMTRAK Northeast Corridor rail lines. The stepped parking levels allow rail passengers to view the surrounding buildings and riverfront activity. Designed to blend harmoniously with three classic and historic buildings by Furness and other 19th century buildings, the parking facility is exceptional in design, as well as efficient and well constructed to serve its purpose. The deck maximizes the parking yield for its patrons, provides effective internal circulation, and ingress and egress points, as well as security and parking access and revenue control systems for a 24 -- 7 facility.

Containing two tiers and 425 spaces, the facility is 124 feet wide and 480 feet long. The facility has entry and exit points located on three sides of the structure, to allow ease of access and departure for parking patrons and to distribute traffic flow and prevent congestion within the structure and on surrounding streets. The facility has three stair towers, an elevator, a parking/security office with a restroom and storage space.

The design team selected cast-in-place post-tensioned concrete as the structural system for the facility. The requirement of unobstructed views from AMTRAK 's elevated rail lines to the Christina River reduced the floor to floor height from typical standards, rather than reduce clearance within the structure and on surrounding streets. This required a structural system of post-tensioned concrete that could span the typical modules of a parking structure at the given shallow depth, while maintaining structural integrity, serviceability, and durability.

Great attention and detail was placed upon isolation of the brick facade, CMU walls, glass canopies, and rigid stair towers from the cast-in-place structure to control structured movements caused by temperature change, shrinkage, and creep.

The construction value of the deck is about $19,300 per space. State and City officials recognized that this public facility in a prominent and historic location warrants a higher degree of finish and relatively higher cost per space, especially due to its importance in the renewal of the riverfront.

Design sensitivity and a true desire to create a landmark drove the design team to pursue excellence, both in the facade of the structure and the structural system. The intricate face of the structure is paralleled by the quality and attention to detail required by the chosen structural system. Tailoring the cast-in-place posttensioned system to the unique parameters of the structure the site presented challenges to the design team. Through its innovative and collaborative approach to the project, the design team created a landmark worthy of the accolades it has received, and instrumental to the renewal efforts underway on the Wilmington Riverfront.

DIV 04:
Brick: Glen-Gery.
DIV 07: Slate: Evergreen Slate Company.
DIV 08: Windows: Pella.

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