Building History

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.

1922-Facade

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).

1960s-Facade

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.