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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Studebaker Cathedral: 1908

Studebaker Cathedral: 1908

New York, 1908. "Old church on 48th Street." Studebaker Garage, a former Christian Science house of worship, at 143 West 48th Street. View full size. 8x10 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Great pic!...RE: this site

The Broadway theatre that replaced the site of the Studebaker/Cathedral was the Playhouse Theatre built in 1911 (info link below), which was torn down in 1969 to add to Rockefeller Center as an office building, after being used one last time for Mel Brooks' original film 'The Producers' for the Springtime for Hitler was across the street from the Cort Theatre, which is still standing today & currently playing 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'...

Here at the Studebaker Cathedral

We are the home of the first full-service drive-in church.

Our ushers will assist you upon entering.

Valve jobs are done in the in the organ loft while you wait.

Oil changes are done in the choir stalls. Use the east aisle upon entering.

Alignments and brake jobs are performed in the cloister.

Body repairs are done under the apse.

Tune-ups are done in the radiating chapels.

The Lady's Chapel is open during all business hours.

Our balcony contains thousands of repair parts for all makes and models.

Confessions heard while you wait. No charge.

Collections taken daily from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.

"Drive in a wreck today!" (c)

Good job

Fantastic collection, well done.

BTW, I keep expecting to get to the full sized image by clicking on the smaller one...

Oh, that's another thing: the size of the pictures. 99% of pictures on the web are way too small. Kudos for bucking that trend.

A two-way street

The church my wife went to when she was growing up used to be a Studebaker dealership. Turnabout happens, I guess!


The Marmon Tabernacle! Good one, AT.

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

Netherland Theater

This NY Times article from June 16, 1909, details plans to replace the church with a theater. The church was at 137-143 West 48th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, which is now the location of the 1221 Avenue of the Americas "Breezeway" and loading dock. Ironic that it's still kind of a garage.

William A. Brady was the backer, and Herbert L. May of Pittsburgh sold the property to a syndicate headed by A.C. Quarrier. The new theater was to be called The Netherland.

139 W 48th

"From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship" by David W. Dunlap lists the address of First Church of Christ, Scientist as 139 West 48th Street - the former All Souls Episcopal Church, a Romanesque-style church built in 1861. Just across the street from the Cort Theater today.

Studebaker Garage

The 1908 International Motor Cyclopaedia lists a Studebaker Garage at 48th and Broadway.

Adaptive Reuse

I found this photograph a bit shocking at first glance. The collision of the sacred and profane, if you will. I wonder if folks felt a bit put-off by it at the time? I can see the church name (or its ghost image) on the arch. Can someone tell us if this building still exists?

Garage? (Again)

Doesn't anybody read the captions before sending questions?

[The giant STUDEBAKER GARAGE sign would also be a clue. - Dave]


Could someone explain why this building is called a garage?

[Because that's what it is. - Dave]

Garage noun A shelter or repair shop for automotive vehicles.

Hail, Taxi!

And they said America worships the automobile. Well, this'll show'em.

Studebaker Cathedral

Across the street: The Marmon Tabernacle.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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