Continuing our visits to car dealers of the past, we visit the White Motor Company dealer on Melwood Avenue, which has fortunately found a new use in the medical-industrial complex.
White started in the automobile business with a successful steamer (more Whites were built than Stanleys), but as gasoline-powered cars took over the market, White abandoned steam and went with the crowd. At some point around World War I or after, White left the car business and concentrated its efforts on trucks and buses. The company was very successful in that business, and remained a manufacturing force until it was bought out by Volvo in 1980.
Correction: We had identified the architect as Edward B. Lee, based on the Construction Record for November 18, 1911: “Architect E. B. Lee, 1307 Peoples Bank building, has completed plans-for a two-story brick and reinforced concrete garage and sales building, to be constructed in the East End, for the White Motor Car Company, 3122 West Twenty-fifth street, Cleveland.” However, it appears that this entry refers to the building at the corner of Craig Street and Baum Boulevard, which later became an Oakland dealership (Oakland automobiles, that is). A picture of that dealership appears in the September 1913 issue of The Builder, with the caption “Garage and Sales Room for the White Motor Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., Edward B. Lee, Architect, Pittsburgh.”