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Architecture and Signage: Historic Buick Dealerships

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/22/2020 at 8:40 PM, Larry Schramm said:


When I worked in the Buick Detroit Zone, the file for Krajenke went back like 80 years.  If I remember correctly, the original papers signing the dealership were signed by Billy Durant.  A lot of history at that location.  They sold Yugo cars at one time.


In 1978, I almost bought a Bricklin from them.  They were also a Bricklin dealer in the day.


Joyce and I bought a Corvette instead which we still have.

My Dad bought his '65 Riviera there brand new. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, avgwarhawk said:




I do get on roofs of car dealerships frequently due to my occupation... I swear they all have scattered debris on them...at least no one threw some poor customer's key up there so they couldn't leave until they made a deal...😎

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Galbraith Biography

When Robert P. Galbraith built his flagship automobile dealership building, he was one of the most important men in the community. As the mayor of Rock Island from 1937 to 1945, he was responsible for the most progressive public investments ever made in the city. At the same time he was constructing the modernistic Galbraith Motor Company at 1401 4th Avenue, he also oversaw construction of Centennial Bridge, the accompanying Centennial Bridge Commission Building, the new City Hall, a municipal sewage system and disposal plant, municipal waterworks improvements, 200 blocks of street paving, and two housing projects, which included the 305-unit Arsenal Courts, now known as Century Woods, which was built to house the pre-World War II influx of workers at the Rock Island Arsenal.

Galbraith’s interest in automobiles began in 1912 when, at 22 years old, he started a used car business called Tri-City Auto Exchange. He is believed to be one of the first men to make a specialty of selling used cars as well as new ones. He acquired his first new car agency, the Halliday, in 1915, and finally incorporated the Galbraith Motor Company in 1927. He was responsible for the construction of three car sales buildings and garages in the city. His company was located at 1500 4th Avenue just prior to building the structure at 1401 4th Avenue. He sold his Buick and GMC business in 1942, and devoted his time to public life. Mr. Galbraith died on October 31, 1946 at age 56, after several years of illness with heart disease.

Other Dealership Owners

The Buick dealership was purchased by Kinney Buick, Incorporated, in 1942, but sold to Buck Buick Company by 1945. Howard P. “Cub” Buck owned the business until the late 1960s. He was a member of the Green Bay Packers professional football team from 1921 to 1926 as an outstanding member of both the offense and defense. He started his own automobile dealership in 1928 in Rock Island after playing and coaching football for seven years. “Cub” Buck was elected to the Wisconsin Sports Hall of Fame in 1956. This building was last used as a car dealership in 1991 as Austin Buick.

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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CC Coddington Buick Distributor, Charlotte, NC 1925 and the same building in 2015.  It was torn down a few years ago.  The building had internal ramps to drive cars from floor to floor.  Cooddington was the distributor for North and South Carolina.  It was on W Trade Street.

CC Coddington Buick Distibutor W Trade St 1925.jpg


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