The Green Garage building at 4444 Second Ave. was erected in 1920 and originally functioned as a show room and service station for a series of small automotive companies. One early tenant, the Ames Motor Company, was a Kentucky carriage maker that had headed north to get in on the “horseless carriage” craze sweeping Detroit. They would purchase Model T chassis from Ford, build their own bodies, and sell and service the cars from the building.
Beginning in the early 1940s, 4444 Second served as the headquarters of a wholesale shoe supply company, S. Kanners Co., which it remained until the mid 1990s (when the business was called Kanners and Patrize).
Around that time, with the collapse of the once-robust local shoe repair industry, the building was sold to a neighbor, who used it for about a decade as a warehouse. Tom and Peggy Brennan purchased it in late 2007, beginning its three-year transformation into the Green Garage.
There is much more to the story of 4444 Second and the people who worked here through the 20th century. For a closer look that stretches all the way back until before the building’s construction, we invite you to peruse our more extensive building history wiki page.