Friday, October 7, 2011

The Hippest Parking Garage In Town

When you're planning your Saturday night, a parking garage is usually just a place to put your car. This Saturday, the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative hopes to change that. For one night, the parking garage at 740 Euclid Avenue will transform into the Hipp Deck, an open-air performance venue.

From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Hipp Deck will host performances by electronic musician Freeze-Tag, local band Tastycakes and opera students from the Cleveland Institute of Music dressed in historical garb. A huge inflatable art installation by Jimmy Kuehnle may be visible from the street.

The event is also a book release party for the CUDC’s publication Cleveland Stories: True Until Proven Otherwise, which tells the narrative history of Cleveland’s architecture. The book will be available for half-price, $10. Food vendors such as Campbell’s Popcorn Shop and Tremont Scoops will serve treats.

The garage was built on the site of the historic Hippodrome Theater, nicknamed “The Hipp,” a nationally renowned venue demolished in 1981.

Hipp Deck is part of the CUDC’s Pop Up City initiative, which looks to use vacant or unusual spaces around Cleveland in inventive ways. The CUDC has been looking to do an event in a parking garage for some time, says David Jurca, a senior urban designer with CUDC.

“They’re kind of these spaces that are underused and maybe under-appreciated,” Jurca says.

The CUDC hopes to inspire others to hold events in surprising places.

“There’s a lot more potential here than we’ve really explored,” Jurca says. “There’s so much parking. Maybe we can collaborate with it instead of fighting it.”

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