- Written by webmin
The pairing of the automobile and the narrow, teeming, crowded canyons of New York City is endlessly fascinating. The Standard Catalog lists 334 different manufacturers based in New York City (most of which, surely, built no more than one or two cars, if any), but beyond that, the Big Apple has a history of dealerships, driving, navigation, cab riding, and automotive legislation all its own.
But today, I’m more concerned with a little-known piece of that history, a place called the Murray Hill Garage, once located at 144-148 East 41st Street in Manhattan, about a block south of the Chrysler building (the Grand Central Plaza stands there today). As we can see from this circa mid-1930s photo from the New York Public Library (another view, from Third Avenue looking west, shows the location in 1936 from a slightly different angle), the garage was more a parking garage with basic services than a full-on repair garage, and it was situated immediately adjacent to the Kips Bay Garage. From poking around a bit on the New York Times archives, I see that it once was a stable, until it was converted into a garage in the late Teens. One of these days I’ll explain my specific interest in the Murray Hill Garage, but for now, I’m looking to see if anybody knows who exactly owned it, how long it existed, and what activities, if any, went on in the garage beyond the advertised lubricating and washing of cars.
And, if you’re feeling rather plucky, how about a stab at identifying the cars in the above shot? (Right-click and open the link in a new window to see a much larger copy of the photo.)