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Once ubiquitous, parking garages fall to the wrecking ball
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By Associated Press and Times staff DES MOINES, Iowa - They were supposed to be saviors of downtown, drawing people by offering parking as plentiful as at any suburban shopping mall. But decades after cities tore down buildings and replaced them with parking structures, communities across the country are demolishing the garages and putting up buildings again, confident that more people will be drawn to lively offices, hotels and housing. In Monroe, city officials have been debating for years what to do about the city's deteriorating downtown parking ramp and recently floated the idea of selling the property.