The Lincoln Highway Garage was built by the Lincoln Highway Garage Association as a garage and service station. Columbus’ unique location made it the “crossroads of the nation” and the garage was built to capitalize on that. One of the advertisements for the garage read “Clean Restrooms for Women”.
By the second decade of the twentieth century, commercial activity in Columbus surged due to its location as a crossroads on the transcontinental routes of the Lincoln (east/west) and Meridian (north/south) highways. The conditions of the roads through Columbus and the roadside services offered to travelers were often reported in national guidebooks published by “good roads” associations. Therefore, it was important for Columbus to display modern conveniences to entice tourists to travel through the area. The most visible, high-traffic areas in Columbus included 33rd Avenue along the Meridian Highway, and sections of the path of the Lincoln Highway which included Lewis Street (now 23rd Avenue), 13th Street, and Platte Avenue (now 27th Avenue). These areas received much attention from local business people and city officials. Municipal improvements along the route included the lighting of downtown in 1913. One year later, with the passage of a $30,000 bond, officials undertook efforts to pave streets. By the next decade, the route of the Lincoln Highway through downtown was paved. The Lincoln Highway Garage was sold to Ed M. Nielsen in 1930 and served as a Chevrolet and GMC Car dealership and service garage for 74 years.
Fred Hoppe acquired the building for an art studio and storage facility. In 2016, it was purchased by Fire Apparatus buff Dennis Hirschbrunner and in 2018 donated to The Columbus Area Antique Fire Apparatus Preservation Society Museum. In 2018 tours of the museum and the fire vehicles and apparatus inside are presently by appointment only as renovation of the building continues.
Check out the website to learn more about the current facility use by clicking here.