Chicago’s Historic Motor Row District 1905 – 1936

This talk is rescheduled from its original July date.

Chicago’s Historic Motor Row Districtis home to the largest, intact, early “motor colony” in the United States.  Primarily located on south Michigan Avenue, it was designated as a Chicago Landmark on December 13, 2000, and added to the US National Register of Historic Places on November 18, 2002.  At its peak, as many as 116 different makes of automobiles were sold and repaired on Motor Row!  The names of the early auto companies – such as Ford, Buick, Hudson, Cadillac, Locomobile, Marmon, and Premier – are still visible today on the building’s brick and terra cotta facades located on south Michigan Avenue.

You will learn about the early development of the American automobile industry, the top flight architects who designed the elaborate automobile showrooms on Motor Row, several of the 116 automobile companies located there, and the automobiles that you would find for sale in those showrooms.

Title Slide for July Speaker Series about Chicago's Motor Row


Barbara J. Barrett is a History Edutainment (Educational Entertainment) Speaker. She holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from the University of Illinois and a Master in Public Administration (MPA) degree from Roosevelt University. Ms. Barrett is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and she enjoys sharing history in an entertaining way.



The Studebaker Museum Speaker Series, presented by the Campisi Family Education Fund, is held in the Wiekamp Auditorium. Regular Speaker Series admission is $2. Regular admission fees apply to tour the Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum. Studebaker National Museum and Campus members are admitted free!

  • January 1, 1970
  • 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm