Thursday, April 21, 2011

Livermore's Duarte Garage on the Old Lincoln Highway

From the Dec. 23, 2010 Silicon Valley (Ca) Mercury News "Take a big steo back into the past at Livermore's Duarte Garage" by Alan Elias.

The Lincoln Highway is 3,389 miles long and went straight down Livermore's Portola Avenue.

Frank Duarte saw a business opportunity and bought a triangle of land at the corner of Portola and L streets and opened his highway garage of Livermore (later called Duarte.

Considering the poor quality of early tires and cars, Duarte did well.

In 1950, the Lincoln Highway was realigned to the current I-580. By that time, the garage was run by Frank's son, Fran. As a result, business dropped significantly.

By the 1970s, the city was growing very fast and the shop was in bad shape. The city wanted it for a park.

Duarte sold it to the city and moved to Arizona. When the economy went south, the city did not have enough money to start the park and it was cancelled. The Livermore Heritage Guild stepped in and took over the garage. Today it is mostly restored.

Well, One Good Thing About the Recession. --RoadDog

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