Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A Look Back at Motor Rows History - from Cars to Records

The Suntimes recently had a nice write-up on the history of Motor Row and how the area has changed dramatically over the past century:
Chicago’s one-time automotive destination, Motor Row, hasn’t weathered time as well as its counterparts, like the Magnificent Mile or Jewelers Row, and the role the city once played in the American auto industry is also often overlooked.
“It’s been overshadowed by other industries — meatpacking, railroads, and steel,” said Peter Alter, a curator at the Chicago History Museum. “Many people don’t realize that Chicago was once filled with these elaborate palaces of automobile consumption in the post-World War I era.”

Detroit looms large in the American imagination as the capital of the car manufacturing world, but Motor City and Chicago’s Motor Row were inextricably linked for the first three decades of the 20th century. The automobile shopping corridor on the Near South Side was the industry’s largest and most prominent public face and helped rev up America’s love affair with the car.
The article gives a nod to the future, but that's not really the meat of this article.  Regardless, it's a good read if you're interested in the history of Michigan Avenue south of Roosevelt.

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