I’m still banging away at adding maps to my website. I’m currently working on some building sections before I dive into the abyss of neon signs. I’ve got some good and bad news from the Car Showrooms section to share with you. I’m not getting a lot of feedback about these posts but maybe there are one or two of you that are quietly enjoying them. For the rest of you, hang in there! I’ll be taking a few roadtrips soon and will get you some pretty neon sign photos.
This wonderful dealership in Grinnell, IA was built around 1930. Later, it housed a hardware store. When I took these photos in 2010, the building was occupied by Main Street Furniture & Appliances.
Those spoked wheels with wings are the give-away that this was a car dealership. However, I have not been able to find out what the original name of the company was or what make of car was sold here:
This Google Street View 2013 photo reveals that the building has a new tenant. In 2013, McNally’s Foods moved into the building.
These buildings in Carroll, IA were built in 1913 for the Swaney Auto Company. The building in the middle still bore the red Wittrock Motor Company letters when I took this photo in 2006:
The 2012 Google Street View map reveals a major change. In 2009, the buildings were adapted for the Santa Maria Vineyard Restaurant & Tasting Room. The Wittrock Motor Works letters are gone now. The parking area between the buildings were walled off and is now used as a dining area. I wish it wasn’t such a fortress now. Maybe they could have using cast iron fencing or something lower. But, hey, at least the buildings weren’t leveled and this damage could be undone later.
This building in Chicago wasn’t so lucky. This Perillo Lincoln Mercury Saab location started life as a Pontiac dealership. Looks to be late 1940s to me. I took this photo in 2005. There was a service bay or two on the right. Love those big windows to show off the cars:
Well, by 2014, Perillo had moved and the building was replaced with a brand spanking new Mini Cooper dealership. Sigh.
This building in Chicago was spared. This Grossinger Cadillac building was built in 1911. Tower Oldsmobile was located here before Grossinger. I don’t know what was here originally. I took these photos in 2009:
Google Street View revealed a transformation. By 2014, Grossinger had moved to a new location and Plum Market was the building’s new occupant. The service bays have been glassed up but all the nifty details are still there:
From Galesburg, IL. When I noticed that the name Lakis Ford Dodge had changed to Yemm Ford, I thought it best to make a call to find out if this “Dodge Dome” was still there. The name change took place last year. The woman on the phone told me that the building was being demolished right then! Crap. Here’s a couple of photos from my website to show you what you missed:
Steve Lakis Dodge was built in 1973 for . These “Dodge Domes” were built elsewhere. I’ve never figured out how many. But the only other one that I know of — and now apparently the only survivor — is the one in Marietta, GA. It was still painted the company colors (white with red trim) when I took this photo of the vacant Marietta Dodge Jeep showroom in 2009:
This showroom was built in the late 1960s. It sat vacant for years and I figured it would eventually be demolished. Dealerships are pretty ruthless about constantly upgrading their buildings and signs. However, thanks to Google Street View, I see that as of 2014, the building was housing Georgia Luxury Cars:
Back to work. I’m only halfway thru the Showrooms section. I’ll probably do a similar post soon when I tackle the “Eateries” section.