Maplewood History: A Closer Look at the Reller Chevrolet building

First published in December 2013, I have reworked this post a bit differently from the way it was originally set up.  Doug Houser Oct. 1, 2016

Prior to blogging about the history of Maplewood, I put together our community history book, “Maplewood, the First One Hundred Years”.  As everyone knows who has tried something similar, because of space limitations a lot must be left out.  Fortunately the same is not true about blogging.  This particular post illustrates my point.

In my previous post about EJ Tire, parts of the Reller Chevrolet building can be seen in several of the historic photos.  I became curious to know just how long the building was before it lost its western end.  So I combined the two historic photos using Photoshop.

The two original photos used to create this composite were taken from different positions. Due to the miracle of Photoshop one can still get a pretty good idea of how this building once looked. Doug Houser/Elmer Wind Jr.

Due to the miracle of Photoshop one can still get a pretty good idea of how this building once looked. I have no idea what happened to the original western end.  Vintage photo courtesy of Elmer Wind Jr.

 

Combining the two vintage photos makes it easy to see how massive this building once was. Ten bays!

Combining two vintage photos makes it easy to see how massive this building once was. Ten bays!  Courtesy of Elmer Wind Jr.

 

A Goodyear limousine pulling a giant tire occasioned these photos during its visit to EJ Tire on the wedge. Wedge should be capitalized because the building that held EJ Tire had been anmed the Wedge in an earlier life as a saloon and general store.

A Goodyear limousine pulling a giant tire occasioned these photos during its visit to EJ Tire on the Wedge and in the Wedge. Wedge should be capitalized because the building that held EJ Tire had been named the Wedge in an earlier life as a saloon and general store.  As most Maplewoodians know, the Wedge is at the intersection of Manchester Road and Southwest Avenue (Old Manchester Road).

 

Some interesting terra cotta details on this building.

Some interesting terra cotta details on this building. The woman’s face is a beautiful sculpture.

 

A Reller Chevrolet ad from the inside of the front cover of the 1930 Richmond Heights City Directory. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

A Reller Chevrolet ad from the inside of the front cover of the 1930 Richmond Heights City Directory. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Maplewood History: A Closer Look at the Reller Chevrolet building

  1. Esley Hamilton commented by email, “I loved this article, but you still didn’t say when or why the west end of the building was torn down. I’m assuming that a second floor was inserted into what are now the western bays of the building. I can see why an owner might want to get rid of the garage bays, but it was a real shame to replace the beautiful multipane storefronts with the very plain one-story storefront.”

    I don’t know the answer to Esley’s questions. I assume the answers can be found somewhere in some newspaper archives. But I’m unlikely to find them. Microfilm makes me seasick. If I had to guess I’d say fire was most likely the culprit for the disappearance of the western end of the building. A retired firefighter once told me that he thought every one of the commercial buildings had at one time caught fire.

    I agree that the remodeling done to the existing part of the building was particularly insensitive. I believe that our Design Review process wouldn’t allow that sort of thing in the future. I also think he’s correct in assuming that a second floor was inserted into the former garage bays but I have never been in those parts of the building.

  2. Thanks, Doug. I liked reading about the history of buildings. You did a nice job of making it easy for the reader.

  3. Thanks Doug, I really am looking forward to these histories.
    And About the terra cottas, there are so many beautiful and interesting building ornamentations in Maplewood, all along Manchester from just East of the City Limits Loop to Sutton and along Sutton. Even one on Greenwood. You just have to look up once in a while. Scheidt Hardware has one of the best, just below the roof line.
    Tom Bakersmith

  4. I agree, Sherman. These old photos can help current owners correct some of the past mistakes.

  5. Thanks, Doug. I like the original windows in Bay 1 & 2 better than the “replacement” windows built in where the large bay doors were originally.