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Goss Company Garage

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1910, 1912. 17 Central St., City of St. Johnsbury

In 1909 the Goss Company dismantled the livery stable behind St. Johnsbury House and constructed a two-story garage to house a Packard dealership. The brick building is articulated into three bays by rusticated piers that separate broad plate-glass show windows at ground level (the glass was brought in by special train car) and quadruple sets of sash windows with granite sills and keystones above. Behind the showroom were a sales office, a ladies' waiting room with its own restroom, and a chauffeurs' locker room. The rest of the building was given over to a service station, stock space, and storage for the growing number of automobiles of hotel guests and St. Johnsbury residents. Within a year the business had initiated an annual auto show and built a three-story addition; its upper floors were accessed by an enclosed ramp. The addition, in a style similar to the original building, was financed by Elmer A. Darling and constructed by local builder James Foye. The former garage has served a number of uses over the years, including the early manufacture of snow tires in the 1940s. Though its show windows have been reworked, the building retains the original external character of an early auto dealership.

The evolution from downtown livery to roadside auto services is evident in several early structures built to serve the growing motoring public along Portland Street (U.S. 2), the main artery leading east toward New Hampshire. These buildings include a c. 1930 one-story auto dealership facing the highway (0.2 miles east of Elm Street) and a c. 1925 custom-designed filling station at the corner of Concord Avenue, both trimmed with Colonial Revival details.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
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Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Goss Company Garage", [St. Johnsbury, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-CA16.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 275-276.

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