April 29, 2011

Dealerships, Garages, Filling Stations & Alleys

 This post covers several topics
The Horse-less Carriage Race of 1895
Auto Dealerships
Auto Garages
Electric Car Garages
Filling Stations
Cobblestone Alleys
of Old Lake View
1913 Chuckman Collection postcard
The Promotional Horse-less Carriage Race
in Chicago
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.
map from a 1938 Chicago Tribune article
a zoomed view from above map 
The apparent roads used in District of Lake View for the race were Lake View Avenue, Sheridan Road, Belmont, Roscoe, Ashland, Cornelia, 
Pine Grove, and Grace.
image - Leslies Weekly Illustrated via Ebay
image - Automotive History
A Chicago Tribune article published in 1975
 the design of the winning media - Wikipedia
 images - Wikipedia
'The Smithsonian Institution states the following regarding the winning Duryea car. "This car was unfortunately destroyed through a workman's misunderstanding many years ago." The second-place car of Hieronymus Mueller is on display in the Mueller Museum in Decatur, Illinois' per Wikipedia. - photo below
The Motor Row 
on Broadway 
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 N Broadway and other singular locations within the old District of Lake View but failed to receive any official local or national recognition apparenlty  overshadowed by the south loop historical district's popularity and notoriety.
Little Motor Row 
on Broadway by 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
Some Dealerships
 in Lake View Area
images - Warner Printing Company
H & G Motor Sales
3406 N Lincoln Avenue
  Lake View 
Motor Sales
2937 N Lincoln Avenue
a display 1926 ad 
Motor Car Company
once located inside the Hotel Belmont
1931 advertisements - Chicagoan
Shanesay Motor Company
2821-25 N Sheffield Avenue
Warner Motor Sales
3637-39 N Southport Avenue
photo - Ebay
 Buick Dealership 
on Halsted/Clark in 1926
Other Dealerships in Lake View

H.G.Motor Sales Co           3406-08 Lincoln Avenue                       

Felz Motor Sales                 1132 W Diversey Parkway

Shaps Motors                      3737 N Broadway Avenue

Heinemann Motors             1832 W Irving Park Road    

While this motor row version was short lived in 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.
1934 advertisements - Chicagoan Magazine
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 repair garage near your residence; attached private garages existing for the afluent. 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, former Treasure Island on Broadway was converted Cornelia Garage while the park building next to the grocery store was called the Stratford Garage. 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 now part of an apartment complex. As of 2023 no remains exist of what was. 
The Lake View Garages:
(a small sample)
Cornelia Avenue and 
Stratford Place garages 
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance map
zoomed view of both garages
converted garages as of 1960's
existing parking garage
existing garage and
converted garage (front demo'ed) into Treasue Island

the new look from Cornelia Avenue
the new look from Hawthorne Place
the existing garage has been replaced by hotel annex
know called 'Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace Hotel'Gerber Collision 
& Glass on Halsted
The below 1894 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 
shows a sizable Livery Service 
at Halsted Street north of Roscoe 
 *pre-1909 address*
Sebastian Livery (1774 & 1776 N Halsted) 
post 1909 address of
3421 & 3423 Halsted Street (added addition)
zoomed view below
The Brompton Garage
3532 N Halsted Street
Google Map Views
pre 2011
renovation 2014 above
2016 below
Waveland & Halsted Area
X marks the spot
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
2019 Google Map photos
zoomed below
corner of Waveland & Halsted
south of above photo
across the street
Whole Foods
north of Whole Foods
Center on Halsted
A Garage on Lincoln/Ashland
3144-48 N Ashland Avenue
pages from 1922- Ebay
the letter
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
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
Bachelor Apartments 
with shops ast sidewalk level
easier to view below
Once the location for Dominick's
photo - Eric Herot via Flick
photo - Eric Herot via Flick
photo - CBS Chicago
and nearly a year later ...
Now the space for 
44th ward ofc photo
2016 photos - garry albrecht
Once a garage now a park
on Waterloo Court
one block west of Broadway
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
this park space masks the loading dock area of Marino's
N Broadway
from a deco-style garage to deco-style residencial
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
pre renovation to its renovation 2023

“A building on Broadway in Lake View is undergoing an unusual transition, only part of which pedestrians can see from street level. The layer of drab exterior material has been removed from 3115 N. Broadway and some handsome, old Art Deco features have emerged.

“But behind that rediscovered 1928 fa├žade, there is a far more intriguing transition going on. Built almost a century ago as a six-story parking garage, the building is being turned into a 72-unit apartment building.

“John Mengel said his Northfield firm, JSM Venture, bought the six-story parking garage in 2016 with plans to take off everything but the lowest two floors and build new floors of apartments on that platform.

“‘Nobody wanted to try to take the whole thing down, because this is lot line to lot line, with [neighboring] walls attached,’ he said.

“The existing structure would only support so much weight, so the new building could not be a lot taller than the existing building. Ultimately, it made more sense to keep the garage and make it apartments.

“The back portion of each floor is sloped because of the ramp cars would drive up to get to the next floor. Meanwhile, the front portion is flat, as that was where cars parked. The ramps are staying, and they will allow renters in the building to drive up to the floor they live on, where the flat portion includes both parking spaces and the new apartments.

“This is something that may not have been done anywhere else in Chicago before. Mengel, whose son Charlie is his partner in the firm, has restored other vintage buildings, including an old factory at 2850 N. Pulaski Road and 3636 N. Broadway, the latter of which used to be the home of Curtiss Candy, maker of the Butterfinger and Babe Ruth candy bars and later the Recycled Greetings card company. In both of those, the Mengels’ firm put rental storage facilities.'photos above - 44th ward office history presentation 

From a Garage 
to a Paint Store
3311 N Halsted Street
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
not sure this is what remains of the garage or not
a car wash/garage at 2823-25 N Halsted Street
... and a dealership by 1934
ad below - The Chicagoan
the buildings evolution
in 2014
The developer decided to raze the garage 
and engulf the building to it's south
2014 Google Map view
photo above- Zillow
once located at 2823 N Halsted Street
2015 Google Map view
with zoomed view below
the two facades together
2016 Google Map view
The auto-laundry removed for new construction
and the 3 story flat engulfed
2017 Google Map view
Broadway & 
Surf Area Garages
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
zoomed below
All these garages were long gone before 'The Broadway at Surf' complex was built by the mid 1990's
A List of Garages on Broadway
Lake View Garage                        
Surf Service Garage
Roman Garage  
Cornelia Garage
Stratford Private Garage Company 
Lester & Stern Company
Delux Garage

Electric Car Garages 
by 1916
via Ron Tamulis/Facebook
District of Lake View
Listed above
White Garage    918 Sheridan Road
De Lux Garage  3721 N Broadway
 Keystone Garage  3116 N Broadway
Lessing Garage   2864 N Broadway
    Lake View Garage  2856 N Broadway
Garages that Supplied
 Standard Oil Products
(Gas) Stations
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.
The Filling Stations:
Steve's Gulf
 Service Station 
on Addison/Ravenswood
1950's photos - Robert Krueger Collection 
via Explore Chicago Collection

Below is a 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. 
zoomed below

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
owned by the then Gulf Refining Company
 Same 1935 photo from Addison view towards Clark Street with an insert of the filing station at the top left
photo - Brad Cornelius via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
zoomed view of the Gulf Filing Station
another station north of Gulf Station
only the office section remains
view from Patterson Avenue
zoomed view below
three photos - Roadside Architecture
The Design
The forecourt (pump island location) is the part of a filling station where vehicles 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
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
unknown name of station
zoomed below
2009 Google Map view
zoomed view of the original station garages
2015 Google Map view
zoomed view of open space - garages are gone
The Filling Gas Station
on the Clark & Sheffield
southwest corner
photo above - part of my collection
1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map
Google Map location views
zoomed below
vs 2017
2019 Google Map view below
The K&S Garage
District of Lake View
zoomed view by CK Postcards

sold Portage Tires
2019 Google View
part of a condo building
An Unknown 
Filling Station on Clark Street
This space as of 2023 is used for Wrigley Field parking
view from Clifton Avenue
Lake View's
Brick Alleys:
those remaining and re-discovered
The story to this photo
This narrative is from Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
"I (Jeremy Huyser)‎ is a heavy equipment operator, and we dig trenches all over the city. 99% of the trenches I dig are in city streets. Usually we come across the old Belgian block pavers and trolley tracks which the city just paved over. Last month, digging on Lincoln [Avenue] between Cornelia and Addison, we unearthed untouched sections of Lincoln’s old wooden block surface. It’s covered in about 8 inches of asphalt and was totally intact until I had to dig through it." 
Some Background
‘Chicago’s alleys were not always paved with asphalt, or even brick cobbles. In fact, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, efforts to find economical materials led to Chicago’s streets being paved with wood. Paving with wood blocks was developed in the mid-19th century by a Boston builder, and by 1871 more than 50 miles of Chicago streets were paved with the material. It was a reasonable solution to the muddy streets that preceded it. Naturally, when the Great Fire hit in 1871, many of Chicago’s streets where among the things that burned. While no wood block streets exist in Chicago today, several wood block alleys remain and provide a valuable glimpse into the past.
Why it's no longer used
Brock Friedman, a commented from Forgotten Chicago-Facebook, brought up a very good point. “Most historic wood blocks with grade contact/burial are saturated with coal-tar creosote. This stuff is "HORRIBLY TOXIC. PLEASE DO NOT PULL IT OUT OF DUMPSTERS AND PLEASE DO NO TAKE IT HOME. PLEASE DO NOT, DO NOT DO NOT STICK IT IN A MITER SAW AND TRY TO CUT IT UP. It is a powerful skin, eye and lung irritant that will cause burns, cornea damage, lung damage, etc." I do a lot of woodworking and when I inquired about cutting some timbers I could get for cheap, the reactions were very alarming. When you use power tools the saw dust is aerosolize and it is highly photo reactive. So even with long sleeves, gloves and a mask you get burns all over exposed skin. And God help you if you burn the stuff. And never, ever use it around vegetables. 
Yes, it's historic. But it's toxic. So. beware!”
Cedar Blocks in 
Old Lake View 1886
image - Town[ship] of Lake View 1886 Annual Report
When a Roadway 
Became an Alley
image -1894 Sanborn Fire Map
Notice the existing shoreline
 image -1923 Sanborn Fire Map
The avenue stats disappears from the landscape
image -1894 Sanborn Fire Map
below is a 2016 Google Map view of the now alley
(Gormont Avenue)
This roadway existed in 1894 but not marked on the Sanborn Fire Map. By 1923 the roadway was called Gormont Avenue and by 1950 it was called North Lakewood Avenue. Google Maps has the roadway still listed as Lakewood Avenue (Illinois Road 19) as of 2017. The Google Map below with the link of it above indicates the roadway more or less an alley.
view of the roadway per a 1923 Sanborn Map
vs a 1950 view below
a Google view of the roadway in 2017 below

Virtual Brick Alley Tour
2018 Google Map edit
red x's brick/black x's concrete or asphalt 
I decided to document in 2019 in what I believe the last network on brick alleys within a local area of Lake View. 
I snipped photos of this network of alleys before it’s forever lost and forgotten; paved by asphalt or concrete. Most of the photos I placed in a Facebook album called 'The Catacomb of Brick Alleys' on my Facebook page. This section of this post was inspired by visitors to my Facebook page. This was the most tedious documentation to date - virtual mapping on Google Maps (Google maps very few alleys), snipping out sections & then editing/enhancing using a editing tool called Pic Monkey. I began my virtual journey at Belmont east of Racine & then continued to Wolfram with some diversions here and there east toward Seminary Avenue.  
 Belmont east of Racine
 the journey south to Wolfram
 selective photos of the journey

 alley at Barry

 alley at George
 below is the end of the journey view north from Wolfram
School Street to Roscoe
not all are brick
2018 Google Maps
 2018 Google Map edit
 2018 Google Earth view below 
The Wooden Alley
 at Roscoe Street
yards west of Lake Shore Drive
on the south-side of the block
an photo artist view below 
by Tim M Hickernell
photos - Lisa Binkowski via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook
 Hermitage & Lincoln avenues
unearthed in 2021
wood blocks
photo - Jeremy Huyser
and what it actually looks like unearthed
photo below - Redmond Tunney McGrath

No Post Note:

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!