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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name KEITH & BRANCH FORD MOTORS FACTORY & SHOWROOM
Reference Number 13000329
State New York
County Essex
Town Upper Jay
Street Address 12198 STATE ROUTE 9N
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 5/28/2013
Areas of Significance
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000329.pdf
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BUilt ca. 1920, the Keith & Branch Ford Motors Factory & Showroom in Upper Jay, Essex County, is a somewhat rare and early example of automobile-related architecture in New York's Adirondack region. The building was conceived and erected to accommodate the partial assembly and local sale of Ford Motors Model T automobiles, generally acknowledged as the first car widely accessible to American consumers. The business partnership of Keith & Branch, formed by local residents Earl Keith and Robert Branch in 1910, established a Ford Motors franchise in Upper Jay in 1914 and subsequently built the nominated building and an automobile service station, known as the Central Garage. These two buildings, of which only the nominated edifice survives, were important local indicators of the advent of the automobile age and the changing landscape of personal transportation in the between-war period. The factory & showroom was erected at a time when small, locally owned Ford Motors franchises served rural populations; unpretentious in conception and largely devoid of architectural elaboration, it was erected with a platform frame and clad on the exterior with stucco. Prominent among its interior features is the original non-motorized freight elevator, manufactured by the Energy Elevator Company of Philadelphia, which allowed for internal communication from the basement to the upper floor. The building is being nominated at the local significance level, in association with Criterion A, in the areas of Industry and Transportation, as a representative example of a small manufacturing facility and for its direct association with period automobile sales. It is additionally being nominated under Criterion C, in the area of architecture, as an example of a purpose-built, automobile-related structure.

 

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria