City of Lewiston
This parking structure was built to provide parking to support the redevelopment of the adjacent 1,200,000 square foot Bates Mill Complex in the city's historic mill district. The overriding criteria for this project was cost. Representatives of Platz Associates and Shelley Engineering, the structural design firm, visited cities throughout the northeast to observe first-hand the various parking garage structural systems. Operators and garage forensic engineers were consulted to learn from their experiences. Structural steel was chosen over precast concrete because of cost. Although the maintenance costs of structural steel parking garages are thought to be higher, the lower initial cost was determined to outweigh this consideration.
The exposed steel superstructure echoes the industrial nature of the garage's setting while the open design compliments the heavier massing of the surrounding brick mill buildings. Architectural steel grills add further visual interest, and the designers gained a greater appreciation of structural steel for both its economic value and visual qualities. Painted green to compliment the near-by steel bridge that spans the Androscoggin River, the structural steel was protected with an advanced, factory-applied to a special paint system. Used on bridges and highway overpasses, this system has a life expectancy of over 25 years.