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Architecture and Signage: Historic Buick Dealerships


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ding ding ding. Calling for Matt Whitaker, aka jackofalltrades70 on this Buick Forum. Where are you? This building has your name all over it.

The pics below, except for the ID sign, are NOT old. I took these pics two weeks ago on December 15, 2012. Pic #1 of the ID sign, was taken by someone else (posted on GOOGLE) while the dealership was still in operation at this location. The original and presently vacated WHITAKER BUICK Dealership (1954-2006) building is located at 1225 University Avenue West, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and has been vacant since March 1, 2006. It's currently listed 'For Sale' at $2.2M if anyone (Matt?) is interested. Whitaker Buick moved approximately 25 miles North of this location in 2006 to Forest Lake, Minnesota. Steve Whitaker, Owner, is active with the local BCA chapters.

The architecture is definitely 1940's-1950's with its splayed windows, polished stone exterior panels, and terrazzo interior flooring. I want to say that the smoke stack is a remnant of other Buick Dealerships (MIDTOWN MOTORS and ?) prior to 1954, but I am researching this as of today. The tracks shown in Pic #3 are new and are for the light rail train now under construction along University Avenue. However, there used to be street car tracks on University Avenue up until the mid-1950's and I remember taking the street car for 10¢ to Lexington Park, home of the Saint Paul Saints (AAA baseball), for baseball games between the Minneapolis Millers (with Willie Mays) on the fourth of July and Labor Day holidays in the late 1940's-early 1950's. Lexington Park was two blocks away from Whitaker Buick and was torn down in 1957.

The ultimate 'Man Cave' for the Buick aficionado.

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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Edited by 1953mack
confirmation of MIDTOWN MOTORS prior to 1954 (see edit history)
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Dave, that reminds me of some of the images from Tacoma's Mueller Harkins dealership. Note the "control tower" set-up that was utilized to dispatch service orders (via pneumatic tubes) throughout the service departments.

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post-56742-143139322552_thumb.jpgWhat the heck ... here's a few from my ol' stash as well. Some you guys may have already seen. Murphy Buick in Los Angeles is where my Roadie was bought new by the previous owner. The last photo looks just like my car. Wonder if it is antique ivory as well :)

Edit: Oh... notice the white walls on these 56, 57's. They are what, 2 inches max and not the wide wides whites you see on resto's at shows. The wide wides are for the earlier Buicks.

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Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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This place had to be next door to a Ford dealership or holding lot, as there sure are a lot of Fords parked in a row outside the Buick Used Cars Lot?

Just proves they were smart buyers. Trading in their new rattle can fords for a step up in life - Buick Ownership!

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