The Packard showroom at Broadway and Sherman Avenue, across the street from Fort Tryon Park, was designed in 1926 by architect Albert Kahn, who designed Packard showrooms across the country and, although he is now little-known, was in his day one of the highest compensated architects. Packard, famed in its early years for luxury autos, was in business from 1899-1954.
The company was founded by James Ward Packard, brother William D. Packard and their business partner George Louis Weiss, in Warren Ohio. Packard was marketed as luxury brand until World War II, but hoping to gain a greater share of the market, started making more affordable models after the war. Ultimately it was unable to compete with automotive leaders Ford, Chrysler and GM. The company merged with Studebaker in 1954 — which was also out of business by 1966.
Fittingly enough the Packard showroom in Inwood is now a parking garage.
Another Kahn Packard showroom bearing terra cotta letter P’s on the outside walls can also be found on Northern Boulevard between 45th and 46th Streets in Long Island City, an area still home to numerous car dealerships.
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