Opening of Public Parking Garage in Morgan Hill

At the end of June, on a balmy summer night, a new public parking garage in Downtown Morgan Hill opened with a great fanfare on 3rd Street. The City of Morgan Hill hired Urban Field Studio as consultants on the design of the garage, the signage, and the integration of public art. The garage includes ground floor retail space that fronts on redesigned 3rd Street and a new public space.

The new parking garage viewed from 3rd Street
The inviting new public space in front of the garage

The garage features two iconic pieces of public art created by Napa-based artist Gordon Huether: an oversized tarantula made out of steel and motorcycle headlights crawling up the building facade and colorful glass panels enclosing the main stairwell with abstracted poppy jasper patterns. Both are references to local features of Morgan Hill and call out the building as a new landmark. Arachnophobia is not a problem in Morgan Hill, T-shirts and stickers with the tarantula silhouette were a common sight that night.

Poppy Jasper and the tarantula public art pieces by Gordon Huether

The Tarantula is composed of hundreds of vintage motorcycle headlights

The public art theme is reflected in the signage and color scheme of the garage. Urban Field Studio worked with graphic designer Matthew Meyers of mmmdesign and Design/Build contractors F&H Construction to tie all the placemaking elements of the garage together.

Signage adds colorful touches to the parking structure

The parking garage provides 270 free parking spaces serving the downtown of Morgan Hill, a fast-growing regional destination with a growing reputation for fine restaurants and shops. 3rd Street has been redesigned as a shared street by Santa Cruz based Landscape Architect Joni L. Janecki & Associates. It incorporates sustainable landscape features, wide sidewalks, seating, parking pockets, and a small plaza in front if the parking garage that integrates an existing gorgeous tree. 3rd Street can be closed off for events and provides, together with the streetscape improvements on Monterey Road, a new pedestrian-friendly center of activity for Morgan Hill.

The shared street design on 3rd Street

With the Morgan Hill Station just a block away, the downtown can also easily be reached by train. The parking garage is yet another important piece of revitalizing the downtown and all that it has to offer.