Nationally Designated Historic District 1996
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, LaSalle Street between Downer Place and Benton is significant as an early automobile commercial center in Aurora. It is also noted for its examples of Victorian era commercial buildings, 20th century Commercial style buildings, and fraternal lodge buildings. Automobile sales and service buildings developed as a distinctive building type in the early 1900s. They were designed to blend with other commercial buildings, and were generally located on the fringes of the central business districts. This block of LaSalle Street was also on the original Lincoln Highway route through Aurora, transferring traffic from Benton Street over to Downer Place in this one block section of LaSalle Street.
1. Coats Garage
52-54 S LaSalle Street
Aurora, IL 60505
This was the first automobile sales and service building built in the LaSalle Street Auto Row Historic District specifically for this use. Constructed in 1907, it still features the original elevator that transports cars to the second and third floors for storage and servicing. Coat’s line of cars in 1912 included the Chalmers, EM.F., Hudson, and Flanders. It was constructed with large “I” beams that span the width of the building, providing a large open space without columns for the display of automobiles. The current owner indicated that 30 modern cars can be stored on each floor.