f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Statler Motor Co./Weiss Motor Co.

Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2015, at 12:00 AM

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In 1928, Louis Hecht and Charles Miller commissioned Reither and Lindsay, architects, to design a new garage at 43-45 S. Main St. in Cape Girardeau. Gerhardt Construction Co. was awarded the construction contract. The building measured 116 feet by 84 feet with floor space of 9,744 square feet. The one-story buff brick building was designed with Spanish Mission influences, including parapets and cherry red brick coping.

On the south and north ends of the building were salesrooms. Located within the building were a tire and battery shop. In 1945, Floyd L. Statler opened the Statler Motor Co. at this location. Statler Motor Co., was a Studebaker dealership. In 1948, 1949 and 1950, Statler was honored by the Studebaker Corp. for outstanding service.

From the mid-1950s until 1956, Louis A. Weiss operated Weiss Motor Co. at the same location.

By the fall of 1956, the building's facade had undergone a major makeover. The building no longer functioned as a car dealership and garage. It was converted into a sales area for Hutson Furniture Co. and Western Auto. The front facade was removed, and a new modern storefront was constructed, with store windows that allowed customers to look into the store and see items on display.

With the makeover, it allowed for a sales area of 10,000 square feet to be constructed. Hutson's Furniture and Western Auto celebrated a grand opening on October 13, 1956, although the store had been opened for two weeks. The grand opening featured Slim Sparks and his Radio Band, and Little Willie from KGMO. Gifts were given away to customers. Ladies received a 22-carat gold-band relish dish, and men received a tissue holder for their cars. In the early 1960s, Western Auto closed, but Hutson's Furniture continued to carry toys and hardware until the late 1960s.

In June 1969, the warehouse on the south end of the building caught fire. At this time, the decision was made to expand the building to the south. In 1995, the building underwent another expansion, when it was enlarged to the north.

Hutson's Fine Furniture is still owned and operated by the Hutson family.

--from Lost and Saved Landmarks

Previous blog:

Western Auto window shopping

Lou Weiss offers his wisdom in these Southeast Missourian advertisements, below. The ad for Statler Motor Co. was published May 29, 1952. The ad for Weiss Motor Co. was published June 1, 1954.

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