The history of the garage building is a work in progress. Come back at a later time to learn more!
1928 - Duncan Garage
1930 - Hunt Auto Repair
1931 - Walter Auto Repair
1946 - O'Connor Service (Operated by C J and G L O'Connor)
2003 to PRESENT - Corona Street Garage
*May also be known as 1338 North Corona in some historic documents.
When purchased by the current owners in 1999, the building was being used by Gerald O'Connor for his O'Connor Service auto repair business. His mechanic was Johnny Hubbard who also operated a towing service.
Mr. O'Connor was allowed to remain as a tenant at both the Garage and the Station until his death in 2002. At that time the current owners took possession of the building.
The building needed several updates and repairs. A full renovation was completed in 2003. The original hydraulic lift, and grease pit were retained.
The building is currently used as a shop for the Corona Street Garage vehicle repair and restoration business.
This building is believed to be the site of the oldest continuously operated auto repair shop in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
During the 2003 renovation it was discovered that the building had been added to many times. The original building was about 20 ft x 20 ft and located at the rear of the current structure. Evidence of the original building was discovered while stripping the interior wall covering material. A coal bin was attached to the side of the original building.
The mid-section was an addition of about similar size to the original building and had water and sewer service. This section contains the grease pit.
The front section was the last addition. It was constructed of "cinder" block (cement style blocks which used fly ash, a byproduct from burning coal, as the aggregate). This addition has an elevated ceiling to accommodate the hydraulic lift.
Large sliding doors appear to have always been installed on the various sections, allowing vehicles to be driven into either end of the structure.
The hydraulic lift in the Garage is an air-over-oil style cylindrical lift. The original lift had lift rails. These rails where long steel I-beams connected to the lift cylinder. The vehicle was driven over the lift rails. Various blocking was placed between the rails and the vehicle frame or axles. Compressed air was pumped into a connected tank filled with hydraulic oil. As the pressure in the tank was increased, the oil moved from the tank into the lift cylinder raising the lift rails and the vehicle. Once elevated the mechanic could more easily complete repairs or servicing.
The original lift rails were replaced during the 2003 renovation with more modern (but vintage) adjustable lift arms. These arms make the lift more versatile.
Unlike its name implies, a grease pit is not a hole in the ground to drain grease into. It is a concrete lined excavation usually about 3 ft to 4 ft wide and about 4 ft to 5 ft deep. It is designed to allow a vehicle to be driven over it, where the mechanic can comfortably stand beneath the vehicle and perform various service activities. These activities would involve repairs, oil changes, and greasing of the chassis (thus the name "grease pit").
The pit in the Garage had a concrete curb installed around it. Presumably to prevent fluids from running into the pit and preventing a vehicle from accidentally being driven into it. The pit is fitted with stairs at one end to allow the mechanic to easily enter.
During the removal of an underground gasoline storage tank in 2003, an outdoor grease pit was discovered adjacent to the Station building. This pit was likely used for vehicle servicing before the mid-section of the Garage was constructed.