Chicago Landmarks

Motor Row District

Block of 2300 S. Michigan Ave.     Address: 1444, 1454, 1737, 1925, 2000 S. Michigan Ave., 2200-2500 blocks of S. Michigan Ave., 2246-3453 S. Indiana Ave., and 2211-47 S. Wabash Ave.
Year Built:
Architect: Various
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: December 13, 2000

23rd St. streetscape This group of commercial buildings on Chicago's Near South Side is considered to be the largest, intact early "automobile row" in the United States. Auto rows developed in numerous 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 being sold on Motor Row. Some are familiar today, including Ford, Buick, Fiat, and Cadillac, while others are better known to historians and old-car buffs, including Hudson, Locomobile, Marmon, and Pierce-Arrow.

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 these buildings were designed by significant architects, including Holabird & Roche, Alfred Alschuler, Christian Eckstorm, Philip Maher, and Albert Kahn.