April 29, 2011

Auto Related

All Ab0ut the Car & Car Things
This post is divided in 3 segments. The segments are garages, dealerships, & filing stations in Old Lake View.
1913 Chuckman Collection postcard
First Some Background
Henry Ford arrived in Chicago in 1895 and managed to change the building landscape of Chicago with his first Chicago Ford dealership on South Michigan Avenue.  According to a 2012 Chicago Tribune article by Jerome O’Connell, Mr. Ford picked a perfect spot to sell his horseless carriages. He picked a location near the mansions and residences of wealthy and influential business folks of Chicago on Prairie Avenue a short distance away from Michigan Avenue. Other dealerships were built during the 1920’s on South Michigan Avenue. This strip of roadway would be later called Chicago’s Motor Row Historical District.

The garage on Halsted address ranged from 3301 to 3319 currently the home of Sherwin Williams
While a lot of the dealerships were located north of Devon Avenue - the northern border of the District of Lake View, there were a few dealerships south of that border as well. Every automobile sold would would need a garage to house it, repair it, wash it. Attached garages to residences was not the norm so large private or public garages were constructed for the any particular local area. The garages mentioned in this post are primarily within the district - a lot along Halsted Street and Broadway Avenue. Some garages would house moving trucks like Keller's Express & Van Company now a parking lot once located on 3127 N Halsted Street.
 1920's? photo - Ebay 
If you needed to rent an automobile livery services were the way to go. This was the era of the horseless carriage when even livery buildings were converted to a newer age of transportation or new buildings were constructed to suit a more modern age. 
A Sample of an Auto Garage 
Superior Auto Laundry Garage
a car wash/garage @ 2823-25 N Halsted Street
... and a dealership by 1934
The Chicagoan
The Motor Row on Broadway Avenue 
By the 1910's the horseless carriage would be renamed the automobile and another area of the city would try to duplicate Michigan Avenue’s Motor Row but this time on Broadway Avenue and other singular locations within the old District of Lake View but failed to receive any official local or national recognition - overshadowed by the south loop historical district's popularity and notoriety.
Little Motor Row on Broadway 1920
This article link below mentions the second auto show at the Broadway Armory with participating dealers in 1921
before it became the 'Broadway Arena' 
image - Chuckman Collection 
Broadway Armory 
photo - Chicago History Museum
The Auto Dealership Locations
(click to enlarge image)
While this motor row version was short lived on the north-side as a second ‘motor row district’, the concept of repair or parking garages did consume the building landscape mostly on Broadway Avenue and Clark Street with several others scattered on Lincoln Avenue, Southport, Belmont, Halsted, and other streets within the District of Lake View from 1917 to 1927 - for the purpose of this post. I will focus mostly on dealerships and garages along Broadway Avenue
I picked this decade of years due to the several articles that provided me with dealership and garages listings from the Chicago Tribune Archives via the Chicago Public Library. According to my research Broadway Avenue, for example, was the location for 27 public, private and repair garages along with 9 dealerships from Diversey to Devon Avenue.
(click to enlarge image)
1923 advertisement
To reside near a dealership or a garage in the early years must have been seen as a badge of honor not only due to this new type of transportation ownership but the necessity of having a community or repair garage near your residence; attached private garages did not exist then. It was interesting to me to find a number of the garages still located at the same address or a garage and dealership that was transformed to another business establishment.  
For example, Treasure Island on Broadway (near Stratford Place) was the location of the Cornelia Garage while the park building next to the grocery store was called the Stratford Garage. Both garages catered to the wealthy residents of Cornelia Avenue, Stratford Place and Hawthorne Place. The Stratford Garage was listed as 'private' while the others were for general public use.
Below is a 1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map that indicates the location of the Cornelia and Stratford Garages. Only the Stratford Garage and still used as a parking garage.
Cornelia (public) and Stratford Garages (private)
Private garages were built for a particular block or area of car owners while public garages were suited for anyone.
 Livery Services had to be refitted to accommodate motor vehicles instead of horses as of 1905 - according to this Chicago Daily Newspaper article

(click to enlarge article)
The below 1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 
shows a sizable Livery Service 
on Halsted Street north of Roscoe 
Sebastian Livery (1774 & 1776 N Halsted) 
to be address changed in 1909 
to 3421 & 3423 Halsted Street
There was a few garages along Halsted per this 1950 Sanborn Fire Map that highlights the Chicago Park District garage - currently Whole Foods the former Center on Halsted Brown Elephant that was on the southeast corner of Halsted Street and Waveland Avenue.
The Isaacson Garage and Motor Sales
3020 N Broadway
once located within the once called Bachelor Apartments
 photo - TrolleyDodger via Uptown Update
currently the location of Marino's and before that Dominick's
image - Ebay via Uptown Update
and then across the street ....
 2015 photo - ReJournals
image - 1950 Sanborn Fire Map
Representative Dealership Posters
Now imagine it is the beginning to a new century and driving on cobble stone streets on Broadway, Lincoln, Clark, and Halsted while heading to your private garage, heading to the cemetery or church on Sunday, or a leisurely drive along the lake on Sheridan Road. The park, Lincoln Park, was beginning to be landfilled north of Diversey and Belmont Harbors toward Melrose Avenue. Driving to Clarendon Municipal Bathing Beach and Wilson's private beach during the summer was popular. Parking would begin to be an issue near Wrigley Field - some things never change.

(click to enlarge image)
dealership was located at 3156 N Sheridan Road 
image - 1931 advertisement from the Chicagoan
The Chicagoan 
with 2015 Google view
Automobiles 1935
(click to enlarge image)
The Chicagoan
The Chicagoan
An Auto Show Article 1935
(click to enlarge all segments to this article)
 page 2
Hudson Motor Car Company
had a few dealerships in the local area   
photo - allpar

photos - Daily Kros
Some Dealerships in Lake View
Kelly Motor Car Company     3948 N Robey Avenue
     Bunning Hudson                    5137 N Broadway Avenue
     Felz Motor Sales                   1132 W Diversey Parkway
     Shaps Motors                         3737 N Broadway Avenue

       Heinemann Motors               1832 W Irving Park Road       The Garages on Broadway Avenue
Many of these garages have been recycled or refurbished 
to meet a more modern commercial need or in some cases demolished to accommodate new planned development that is highlighted in this edited Sanborn Fire map below.
*Lake View & Surf Garages
unknown garage 2840-44
1950 Sanborn Fire Map

A List on Broadway
 *Lake View Garage                                    
 *Surf Service Garage
Roman Garage  
Cornelia Garage
Stratford Private Garage Company 
Lester & Stern Company
Delux Garage
Windle Garage
Goodcare Garage
Pioneer Private Garage 
Terminal Garage
Riviera Garage
Henry Harold Garage
Edgecomb Garage
Square Deal Garage
Lakewood Garage
Kenmore Garage
Hollywood Garage
Arrow Garage
Glenlake Garage
Silver Beach Garage
I decided to publish this post so to not to forget the recyclable nature of these building to the neighborhood such as the once garage now Whole Foods/Center on Halsted or this one below .... click on article to enlarge.
A Buick Dealership on Halsted 1926
once located on 3161 N Clark to 3152 Halsted
The Filing Stations
Cottage Style Architecture
Early on, according to Wikipedia, these places along the road were known to motorists as ‘filling stations’.
The first drive-in filling station was built by ‘Gulf Refining Company’ and then opened to the motoring public in Pittsburgh on December 1, 1913. (Prior to this, automobile drivers pulled into almost any general or hardware store, or even blacksmith shops in order to fill up their tanks). On its first day, the station sold 30 gallons of gasoline at 27 cents per gallon. This was also the first architect-designed station and the first to distribute free road maps. 
Chicago based Rand McNally would be the first to introduce road maps in 1904 but in New York City.
Steve's Gulf Service Station 
1950's photo - Robert Krueger Collection 
via Explore Chicago 
 once located on the northeast corner of Addison 
and East Ravenswood Avenue
photo - Robert Krueger Collection via Explore Chicago 
This 1950 Sanborn Fire Map indicates the station house was divided between the 'greasing area' and the 'filing station' with three gas pumps. The pumps faced East Ravenswood Avenue. According to this map illustration their was a machine shop on the property. In 1923 a Sanborn Map indicates a much smaller station at the same location.
Most filling stations are still built in a similar manner, with most of the fueling installation underground, pump machines in the forecourt and a point of service inside a building. Single or multiple fuel tanks are usually deployed underground. Local regulations and environmental concerns may require a different method, with some stations storing their fuel in container tanks, entrenched surface tanks or unprotected fuel tanks deployed on the surface. Fuel is usually offloaded from a tanker truck into the tanks through a separate valve, located on the filling station's perimeter. Fuel from the tanks travels to the dispenser pumps through underground pipes. For every fuel tank, direct access must be available at all times. Most tanks can be accessed through a service canal directly from the forecourt.
image - Michael Smucker via Pinterest
Older stations tend to use a separate pipe for every kind of available fuel and for every dispenser. Newer stations may employ a single pipe for every dispenser. This pipe houses a number of smaller pipes for the individual fuel types. Fuel tanks, dispenser and nozzles used to fill car tanks employ vapor recovery systems, which prevents releases of vapor into the atmosphere with a system of pipes. The exhausts are placed as high as possible. A vapor recovery system may be employed at the exhaust pipe. This system collects the vapors, liquefies them and releases them back into the lowest grade fuel tank available.
The Gulf Oil Filing Station on Clark
 1935 photo from Addison view towards Clark Street
image - Ebay
 Same 1935 photo from Addison view towards Clark Street with insert of the filing station
photo - Brad Cornelius via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
This 1950 Sanborn Fire Map highlights the filing station that is still located as of 2015 on the northwest corner of Clark 
and Patterson Avenue as of 2015 used currently as storage
This 1950 zoomed Sanborn Fire Map highlights the filing station along with a possible auto car washing structure
an apparent token for a car wash
photo - Ebay
Three photos - Roadside Architecture
The forecourt (pump island location) is the part of a filling station where vehicles are refueled. Fuel dispensers are placed on concrete plinths, as a precautionary measure. Additional elements may be employed, including metal barriers. The area around the fuel dispensers must have a drainage system. Since fuel sometimes spills on the ground, as little of it as possible should penetrate the soil. Any liquids present on the forecourt will flow into a channel drain before it enters a petrol interceptor which is designed to capture any hydrocarbon pollutants and filter these from rainwater which may then proceed to a foul sewer, storm-water drain or to ground. – Wikipedia edited
A Filing Station on Roscoe
2015 Google View 
(click to enlarge map)
This 1950 Sanborn Fire Map indicates a filing station just west of Broadway on Roscoe. I always wonder why this rectangular parcel of property was never develop. According to this map two pumps were located on this property. 
As of 2014 the garages from the old filling station was still there. Also, there was an '12 flat rooming house' with an address of 623 that no longer exists either.

Post Note: Read and view an narrative about the first auto race in America that occurred in Chicago particularly in the old District of Lake View with this link to my Facebook page.

Important Note:
These posts are exclusively used for educational purposes. I do not wish to gain monetary profit from this blog nor should anyone else without permission for the original source - thanks!