Germantown Parking Company (Philadelphia, Pa.) Records
The Germantown Parking Company, hereafter "the Company," was established by the Business Men's Association of Germantown for the purpose of acquiring and operating community parking lots in the Germantown business section. Originally a subsidiary of the Business Men's Association, the Company was eventually incorporated as a nonprofit community project with the Association as its sole stockholder.
Under the leadership of Benjamin Wilf, the Company was incorporated in 1948, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association by 1952. It was initially funded by the community businesses that comprised its membership, and was administered by a board of directors elected by Company shareholders. The directors appointed four persons to the offices of president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.
Initially, the Company secured parking lots through leasing. The first of these, located at 35 W Schoolhouse Lane, began operations in 1951. Donald J. Tobin became president of the Company in 1954, but by 1955 the nature of the Company was beginning to change. Company directors began considering options such as buying (rather than leasing) lots and shifting ownership to bondholders (rather than the Businessmen's Association). Ultimately, the Company was unable to maintain successful operation of their lots: day-to-day operations were terminated in 1957, and the Germantown Parking Company account was eventually settled in 1974. This effectively ended the initial run of the Company.
Following the demise of the original Germantown Parking Company, a second group of Association members led by Roger Scattergood restarted the organization in 1980. Using leftover contributions from a Colonial Germantown Parking Study Fund, the Company leased several lots in the Germantown area. This incarnation of the Company was short-lived, however, as a lack of success forced the Company to terminate its last parking lease in March of 1981.
The work of the Germantown Parking Company often paralleled that of the Traffic Parking Committee of the Business Men's Association of Germantown, but the two entities were in fact separate, with slightly different emphases. The Traffic Parking Committee dealt with general problems of parking and traffic, and held no regular meetings. The Germantown Parking Company, on the other hand, dealt specifically with the operation of parking lots. Some materials from both of these administrative bodies are contained within the collection.
The collection consists of 1 linear foot and covers the period from 1946 to 1981. Most of the material is concentrated around the periods when the company was actually in existence: 1948-1957 and 1980-1981.
The collection is divided into four series. The bulk of the collection falls within the Administrative series, which includes correspondence and other materials relating to the formation, organization and administration of Company affairs. In addition to Germantown Parking Company materials, this series also includes some materials pertaining to the Traffic Parking Committee of the Business Men's Association of Germantown.
The materials contained within the Financial series pertain mostly to the second incarnation of the Company (1980-81).; These include various reports (Auditors, Banks, Investments, etc) pertaining to Company finances.
The Projects series collects surveys and other data pertaining to traffic and parking in the Germantown area.; This includes coverage of a monthly parking project and a general parking plan.
Finally, the Miscellaneous series includes two folders of tangential materials pertaining to Business Men's Association of Germantown events (Christmas Parade and Dinner Dance).
ORGANIZATION AND ARRANGEMENT