Motor Row District
Motor Row Historic District
|Architectural style||Early Commercial, Mission/Spanish Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||2001387|
|Added to NRHP||2002|
|Designated CL||December 13, 2000|
The Motor Row District is a historic district in Chicago’s Near South Side community area. Motor Row includes buildings on Michigan Avenue between 2200 and 2500 south, directly west of McCormick Place convention center, and 1444, 1454, 1737, 1925, 2000 S. Michigan Ave., as well as 2246-3453 S. Indiana Ave., and 2211-47 S. Wabash Ave. The district was built between 1905 and 1936 by a number of notable architects.
Auto rows developed in numerous US cities shortly after 1900 as car companies sought to create districts where the sale and repair of cars could become an easy urban shopping experience. At its peak, as many as 116 different makes of automobiles were sold and repaired on Motor Row. Current-day marques that formerly had showrooms on Motor Row included Ford, Buick, Fiat, and Cadillac. Other marques with showrooms there that have since dissolved include Hudson, Locomobile, Marmon, and Pierce-Arrow. Currently, one car dealer (Ford) still stands in Motor Row while the remaining buildings have been or are being redeveloped into condominiums, nightclubs, and retail storefronts.
The range of buildings in Motor Row illustrates the evolution of the automobile showroom and related product and service buildings, from simple two-story structures used for display and offices to multi-story buildings housing a variety of departments for the repair, storage, painting, and finishing of automobiles. Many of the buildings were designed by significant architects, including Holabird & Roche, Alfred Alschuler, Philip Maher, Albert Kahn, and Christian Eckstorm. The overall design highlights elaborately carved stone work, ornate facades and intricately scrolled ironwork that decorates recessed automotive doorways.
Though characterized by its auto showrooms, Motor Row was also home to newspaper The Chicago Defender, a newspaper voice for Chicago's large African American community. Chess Records was also located in Motor Row and acts such as Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones, Willie Dixon and many other blues artists recorded there. Currently Fearless Radio is located in Motor Row on the 24th block of Michigan.
At present, Motor Row is undergoing a transformation into a premiere music and entertainment district for Chicago.
Brewery headed for Motor Row - June 22, 2011 http://www.chicagojournal.com/News/06-22-2011/Brewery_headed_for_Motor_Row?/
Update on the Brewery December 29, 2011: http://www.sloopin.com/2011/12/broud-shoulders-brewery-coming-to-motor.html
Cheap Trick Eyes Record Row for museum, concert venue - Chicago Sun-Times - October 4, 2011 http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/music/8037695-421/cheap-trick-wants-to-open-museum-concert-venue-in-record-row.html
City Council moves to transform 'Motor Row' into 'Music Row' - September 1, 2011 http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=o45enocab&et=1108588050290&s=10198&e=001ShqOuzKe7n5b3xQC8jvPKj5vOP9KY5FxdI9shjgqiLmZsImursDJeitVZvreVKLeriE4DeByxSPBQLV1UqOmGMJqg7pppBrslPYh-zUbRdLiARSgOh4sFVjdwGOj-i6HVqbmcVghQK1ozfm4Md66Qau2X-6Tl2F3tf6SLNHcAD10vMkA0-DSgKbXw0nP_Tk0j2l-x2puC80_BQG8x3eY1s3tAvarsYOQg_6UkN5ltdpTM56qANRHWA==
Parking increase to fund new Cermak L station, downtown express bus service Support South Loop Residents, McCormick Place and Motor Row patrons - October 14, 2011: http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/8199743-418/parking-increase-to-fund-new-cermak-l-station-downtown-express-bus-service.html
Cheap Trick team reveals big plans for Motor Row - July 6, 2012 http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/13579760-421/cheap-trick-team-reveals-big-plans-for-motor-row.html
Mayor highlights $65 million in projects on Near South Side - Chicago Sun-Times - September 28, 2012 http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/15432798-418/mayor-highlights-65-million-in-projects-on-near-south-side.html
Motor Row revival plans shift into gear - Chicago Tribune - September 30, 2012 http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0930-motor-row-20120930,0,5796974.story
Motor Row Memories by Jerome M. O'Connor, Chicago Tribune, October 21, 2012 http://www.historyarticles.com