The people of Atlanta have submitted their nominations. And now, in the spirit of March Madness and the season of bracketed competitions, it's time for the inaugural Atlanta's Worst Parking Garage Tournament to begin! 

We fully acknowledge that parking garages are a necessary evil in a city like Atlanta—at least for now—where the infrastructure was defined by decades of cars-first thinking. But as we'll see shortly, they tend to suck the life and vibrancy from urban places once dedicated to active human uses.

At best, parking garages are utilitarian dead zones with some sort of additional purpose woven in. At worst, they are money-generating scars.  

So cast a vote for your (least) favorite parking garage below the photos and descriptions. The top four vote-getters will advance to the Final Four next week.

Soon after that, the Finals will crown/shame Atlanta's Worst Parking Garage, once and for all.

Now... jump ball! 

Bad on Baker

Google Maps

Location: Baker Street downtown, just west of Peachtree

Redeeming factor: Handy, heavily fortified liquor store.

Low point: Everything else.

Commentary: For $10 per day, this 31 Baker Street structure provides a service for prominent buildings. Which doesn’t make the experience of being near it—or in it—any less awful. This one hasn’t changed much (except for the price) in at least 15 years.

Block of Shame

Google Maps

Location: Spring Street, spanning from 4th to 3rd streets

Redeeming factor: Large trees, when fully leafed, partially hide the longest, saddest façade.

Low point: Exhibit A on how to annihilate sidewalk vibrancy.

Commentary: We all know the Walk of Fame. Here’s the opposite—the Block of Shame. Defiant, bland, and blocky, it’s like the Vladimir Putin of centralized urban land uses.

Double-Decker Debacle

Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Location: Marietta Street at Ted Turner Drive

Redeeming factor: The cutesy Just Around the Corner café.

Low point: Smack dab in a tourist district, offering little engagement.  

Commentary: Though it may be mini, this two-story, half-assed garage on a primetime corner is nonetheless disheartening for anyone hoping for true downtown vibrancy. On the bright side, from a practicality standpoint, it beats the sea of surface parking surrounding it.

Literally Crumbling

Google Maps; submitted

Location: Peeking over the Connector, near the southbound Courtland Street exit

Redeeming factor: Yeah right.

Low point: The historic but neglected Medical Arts Building the garage is attached to is becoming just as unsightly.

Commentary: At first blush, this mess of steel pipes, brick, and concrete might appear to be leaning and shedding things, but Google imagery shows it’s been in pretty much the same condition since 2007. As if that’s any consolation. “So ugly and highly visible,” as one nominator put it.

Underground (Unfortunately Not)

Google Maps

Location: Just north of Underground Atlanta

Redeeming factor: A mix of retail along the Decatur Street base.

Low point: In the late 1950s, the second iteration of downtown’s beautiful Kimball House hotel was demolished for this.

Commentary: “Big and ugly at a prominent intersection,” as one nominator described it. From Peachtree, it almost looks like a smaller, Soviet version of Ponce City Market, minus all of the soul.

Front and Central

Google Maps

Location: 90 Central Avenue, near the eastern edge of Underground

Redeeming factor: GSU’s G deck appears arty, if you’re drunk enough.

Low point: Blatantly meant for parking only, to the point of being flagrant.

Commentary: We’ll let the nominator take this one: “Urine-soaked, dark and fumy, and you have to go down the death spiral until you're dizzy—a crash or a mugging is in your future for sure.”

Rocky Relationship

Google Maps

Location: In the northern blocks of Midtown, where Spring and 18th streets meet

Redeeming factor: The Atlanta-specific, cityscape mural along one wall. 

Low point: Upgrades were recently made, suggesting it’s staying put

Commentary: An odd blend of beautiful Georgia granite and a steel car cage, this corner-hogging contraption is literally set in stone. Described by one nominator as a “mountaintop monstrosity.” Indeed.

Only Mamma Love Me

Google Maps

Location: Just don’t go

Redeeming factor: Seriously?

Low point: Instant gag reflexes.  

Commentary: From an aesthetic standpoint, this damn thing is brutally, thoroughly heinous. The kind of structure only a mother could love, until one day she’s just more honest with herself.