In the general and ongoing nature of “The Way Things Work,” here is an interesting series of images from Macomb, a fairly large town in western Illinois — home of Western Illinois University, where a lot of my high school classmates went to university.
This building is the A. T. Ewing & Son Automobile Repository, which I take to have been a parking garage and auto mechanic for folks who didn’t have a garage at home; possibly an auto dealer as well. I would gladly appropriate this image for Agincourt (a town of similar size and vintage), though the asking price of $89 is way beyond my price range. Looking for other (cheaper) images, I accumulated the story of the Ewing garage in Macomb.
At some point the business closed and the building was adopted as the Lark Theatre for movies, the new out-of-the-house form of entertainment. That, in its turn, seems to have morphed to a legitimate stage theatre for dramatic production of the community theatre variety. And that in turn was demolished, replaced by a public park — onomatopoetically named Lark Park. Though I would gladly sacrifice the open space for the original building of about 1910.
And so it is with the fabric of our lives, civic and otherwise.
PS: Buildings of this general sort are quite common at the turn of the last century: (see below) clear-span and clerestory- or monitor-lit.