Sunday Ads: The King of Buicks

Written by on August 28, 2016 in Sunday Ads - No comments
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This 1936 shows the great deals that could be had a Monarch Buick, a staple along north Meridian Street for nearly forty years. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

This 1936 shows the great deals that could be had a Monarch Buick, a staple along north Meridian Street for nearly forty years. (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

Business:  Monarch Buick

Date of Ad:  August 23, 1936

Location:  958-1002 North Meridian Street, Midtown

Years of Operation: 1934-1970

Notable: Monarch Buick was one of the longest running Buick dealers in Indianapolis. Started by Connecticut native William R. Kraft in 1934, the dealership grew to overtake the entire strip of former car lots. By 1957, the dealership had constructed a new showroom on the opposite side of the property facing Illinois Street to provide more parking for potential customers. Auxiliary lots operated at 814 Virginia Avenue and 4802 West Washington Street. In 1970 Kraft sold the dealership, now featuring the exotic Alfa Romeo alongside the lumbering Buicks and the business became known as Wiese Buick. Wiese moved to then suburban west 38th Street in 1974 and operated until selling to Stitzer Buick in 1980. Stitzer Buick ceased operations in 2001. William Kraft passed away in 1983 and is buried at Washington Park Cemetery.

Additionally: The downtown location became home to E.B. Brown Furniture. In 1986 the downtown office building demand was growing again. Browning investments scooped up the entire block to construct Gateway Plaza. Many may not realize that Gateway Plaza was intended to have a twin tower constructed on what is now the parking lot facing Meridian Street.

By 1979, Wiese Buick was operating on the popular West 38th Street shopping strip. Courtesy Indiana State Library)

By 1979, Wiese Buick was operating on the popular West 38th Street shopping strip. Courtesy Indiana State Library)

The Gateway Plaza now occupies the former site of Monarch/ Wiese Buick downtown. The parking lot was intended to be a second tower when development began in 1986.

The Gateway Plaza now occupies the former site of Monarch/ Wiese Buick downtown. The parking lot was intended to be a second tower when development began in 1986.

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About the Author

An avid runner who enjoys daily jaunts throughout Indy's historic neighborhoods, Jeff deeply appreciates the detail and workmanship of old architecture. So much so, that he lives downtown in a restored historic building. He also works downtown as a manager of a not-for-profit that promotes globalization throughout Central Indiana. In a past life, Jeff worked in the hospitality industry and may one day pen a book about the ridiculous things people do while staying in hotels. Stay tuned.

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