Oneonta, New York Ford Sales Building Demolished, History Remembered
What became a derelict building being demolished as we speak is one that is filled with a long history in the city of Oneonta. It's been empty and in its current state for a long, long time. 100 years ago and through much of the 20th century, it was a hub of activity in Oneonta, pertaining to all things automobiles.
Got Four Wheels and a Running Board
From the Oneonta History Center:
This historic building was once the home of the Oneonta Sales Company, an automotive business that operated for over 80 years at 27-33 Market Street. Founded by Riley J. Warren, Beatrice “Bea” Blanding took partial ownership of her father’s Ford automotive dealership in 1925. She became President in 1949, making her one of the first female owners of a national car company dealership. Blanding worked at Oneonta Sales until her death in 1993. She was a civic-minded philanthropist who developed a local foundation, the Blanding Foundation, to help the community.
Honk-honk, rattle-rattle, rattle crash, beep-beep
Over the years, the business grew to be a one stop shop for all things Ford and general automotive related. There was a used car lot where OPD/OFD's stations sit now. The building at Chestnut Street Extension and Market Street had a new car showroom, as well as offices and a parts counter. If your car needed work done, this is where you went. There were shops that worked on radiators, general repairs, a body shop, and storage. Next to the now gone West Nesbitt Feed Mill was a shop that did oil changes and tire work. The footprint extended to what is now the General Clinton Plaza in the form of a Firestone Home and Auto Store. It sold a variety of items that would be found in a department store today.
Ironic that the land will be returned to automobiles, in the form of a parking lot! Check out the gallery below for the pictures of yesteryear.