As has been written in the past, one great past times in terms of owning a Checker Cab is to have fun taking photographs of our Checkers. Many ICTA members have gone to great length creating photos of their Checkers in historically significant venues. Today we present David Kniffen’s photos taken at the old Checker Cab building in Detroit. Here’s some history and David’s photos.
In 1921, some of Detroit’s independent taxicab operators organized into a confederation soon named the “Checker Taxicab Service,” and later the “Checker Cab Company.” Its highly likely the name was picked in order to duplicate the Checker coop created in Chicago, back in 1917. In Detroit, Checker undercut its competition on prices and allowed owner-operators to join, and by 1922 ran 85 cabs, increasing to 240 in 1924. In 1923, Checker Cab moved into new offices in the General Motors Building
The Checker Cab Building is a three-story, flat-roofed commercial-style brick building measuring 292 by 124 feet. It has a steel and concrete frame and is faced with red-brown brick and cast concrete. The main facade is symmetrical, seven bays wide. The center bay is narrow, containing a single window with a pedestrian door on the first floor. The two flanking bays have paired windows; above these three bays is a gabled parapet. The remaining bays on each side are four- and two-window bays. The four-window bays contain garage doors on the first-floor level. The bays are divided by brick piers trimmed with flat cast concrete bands at each floor level. The windows have cast concrete sills and soldier course brick lintels.
The Plum Street facade is thirteen bays long, with red-brown brick like the main facade. The three bays nearest Trumbull contain tripled double-hung windows; the remainder contains steel factory windows.
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