April 29, 2011

Autos/Dealers, Garages & Streets/Alleys & The Ditch

 Mostly about Car Related Stuff
This post is divided in 6 segments. The segments are garages, dealerships, filing stations, brick streets & alleys of
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.
A Story about a Car and a Wagon 
(pre 1909 address)
the type of automobiles used in 1901
a 1901 Searchmont Stanhope pictured below
map from a 1938 Chicago Tribune article
a zoomed view from above map 
The 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
A Chicago Tribune article published in 1975
 the design of the winning media - Wikipedia
 images - Wikipedia
below the first gas powered horse-less carriage 
built by Duryea's company in 1895
'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.
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 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)
A Buick Dealership on Halsted 1926
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)
a 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 former Stratford Garage is still used as a parking garage currently. The Cornelia garage is the location of Treasure Island - closed in 2018 and more than likely used part of the garage .
Cornelia Avenue and Stratford Place garages 
1923 Sanborn Fire Insurance map
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 everyone.
Livery Services had to be refitted to accommodate motor vehicles instead of horses as of 1905. 
- according to this Chicago Daily Newspaper article below
(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
1950 Sanborn Fire Map below
Lake View Motor Sales
a display 1926 ad 
once located at 2937 N Lincoln Avenue
 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 in 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
images - Warner Printing Company
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       
Some Garages of Old Lake View:

The garage on 3301-3319 Halsted Street is
 currently the home of Sherwin Williams
2018 Google Map view
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. 
Another Sample of an Auto Garage 
Superior Auto Laundry Garage
a car wash/garage at 2823-25 N Halsted Street
... and a dealership by 1934
The Chicagoan
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
Electric Car Garages in 1916
via Ron Tamulis
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 Collection
 once located on the northeast corner of Addison 
and East Ravenswood Avenue
photo - Robert Krueger Collection via Explore Chicago 
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. 
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
owned by the Gulf Refining Company
 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. 
2009 Google Map view
As of 2009 the garages from the old filling station was still there - look toward the back. Also, there was an '12 flat rooming house' with an address of 623 Roscoe as well.
Those Wooden Streets 
and Remaining Brick Alleys:
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." 
‘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 ....
image - Town[ship] of Lake View 1886 Annual Report
‘When companies are contracted by the city to demolish and replace structurally unsound vaulted sidewalks, their saw-cutting methods typically go beyond the curb and well into the street. The work continues with subsequent digging in and around the street, involving the removal of several inches of asphalt followed by older concrete and finally, well-preserved 19th or early 20th century fired red brick or granite pavers that are typically discarded as "waste." During one of these jobs, when an observant contractor looked closely at several pavers that had fallen into a vault during another routine sidewalk upgrade, he realized that the blocks were comprised of wood, which was a very unusual, considering that he had been doing this work for several years and had never come across anything like this before. With his curiosity now piqued, he returned to the street and removed additional debris and tar from the section he had been working on. There, he discovered, or rather uncovered many more of these seldom found creosoted or wood-tar cedar wood pavers, that likely were installed sometime between the late 19th and early 20th century.’...
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. Beware!”
The Remaining 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
The Wooden Alley on 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
Unearthed in 2021
 Hermitage & Lincoln avenues
photo - Jeremy Huyser
and what it actually looks like unearthed
photo - Redmond Tunney McGrath

Post Note:
They don't make streets like they used to
4200 block of Paulina Avenue in the neighborhood of 
Ravenswood Southeast
'“As soon as I went in, the tire on the driver’s side went down. I tried to put the car in reverse, the wheels were spinning. I shut the car off and got out of the car and that’s when the asphalt around the car started to collapse.” What started as a small hole quickly turned into a sinkhole wide enough for the front half of the minivan to fall into. “After I got out, like two or three minutes later, it just started to cave in,” Yanong said. Outside of the damage his minivan sustained, Yanong was not injured'.- Block Club of Chicago

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!

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