Awards of Excellence:
Manweiler Chevrolet Dealership

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1928 | Year Saved: 2013
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

 Following the government bailout of United States automakers in 2009, General Motors forced hundreds of small town dealerships to close by withdrawing franchise agreements. Multi-generational Manweiler Chevrolet of rural Hoisington, Kansas, founded in 1928, was spared in the cuts. However, when Manweiler signed a renewed contract with GM in 2010, the deal came with a set of design guidelines for a new uniform corporate image that would have to be applied to the 1944 Steamlined Art Moderne downtown dealership. By working with GM, Manweiler Chevrolet developed a plan for incorporating the modern dealership requirements into the building in a way that would not obliterate its historic character, and allow the dealership to remain in the city’s downtown. The garage area was improved with a new separated parts counter and enclosed office area. A new customer lounge and waiting area was also added. The centerpiece of the building, the curved single-car showroom, was completely renovated with the removal of dark wall paneling and a low suspended ceiling, restoring the sleek look of the building’s era. Enclosed sales offices and improved mezzanine-level administrative offices completed the functional upgrades. Three generations of the Manweiler family were present at the re-opening in May of 2013 to celebrate the company’s 85th anniversary.

Federal and state historic preservation tax credits were utilized to fund this rehabilitation.

The project team included: Gene & Paula Manweiler; Cheverolet South Central Region; Lisbona Architects, Inc.; WS Construction Services; Christians Specialties, Inc.; Spencer Preservation; Steinert Painting; Home Connections; Stout Electric Service; A&F Enterprises, Inc.; and Ryan Roofing.

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