Friday, November 20, 2009

Changing Shapes

Nothing stays the same. Buildings, like people, grow old and their shapes change. This is what happened to a building in Pontiac, Michigan, where my family spent a lot of years. But first, let me tell you how the building came to be.

After serving as Chief Engineer of Oakland Automobile Company, the predecessor of Pontiac Motors, Benjamin Jerome Sr. opened Jerome Motors on South Saginaw Street in Pontiac, Michigan in the early 1930s.

As a dealer of Oldsmobiles, Cadillacs and LaSalles, the company managed to remain open through World War II, when automobiles took a back seat to the war effort by concentrating on selling used cars.

The photo below shows the dealership as it looked during the early 1950s. Busy place. Note the showroom facing South Saginaw Street on the left side of the photo.

In November 1967, ground was broken for a new facility "at the top of Woodward Avenue" and the business moved. The old building was used for other purposes and the first changes to its shape were made.

The building that housed the original dealership still stands in Pontiac, but South Saginaw Street is now called Wide Track. The showroom has been enclosed, but the lines and architecture identify this as a structure from the 1930s. The business was sold in 1985 and the dealership was moved to Rochester Hills.

I love the clean lines of the building.

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