As the village of Greenwood Lake prepares for its 100th birthday celebration in 2024, it’s often useful to see how a street corner has changed over the years - like the site of a building that had a deep history in the automotive industry: the intersection of Windermere Avenue and Church Street.
The country had barely recovered from the Great Depression at the time, and New York and New Jersey had built a growing number of paved surfaces during the “Highway Era” until around 1947, which, according to the New Jersey Historic Road Study, provided the following economic benefits to residents:
· A decrease in local taxation for road construction and maintenance because state funding was now available for roadway construction.
· A decrease in living expenses because of the reduced cost of shipping merchandise and produce.
· An increase of property values because of ease of travel between extreme destinations and accessibility to an improved roadway system.
· An increase of farmer’s income because of the ability to transport farm produce over longer distances at reduced cost and over a shorter period of time.
· An increase in railroad business because of greater accessibility of depots.
The paved roads extended west from the Hudson River into Greenwood Lake and north and east from New Jersey’s nearby counties. In the 20th century, improvements in roads, combined with the affordability of the automobile, provided Americans with new transportation options. Unrestricted by fixed timetables of railways, travelers could follow any passable route as far as it would take them. And auto repair business, together with gas stations, began to proliferate.
The Central Garage got its start in the 1940s, according to Lynn Glazar, “It is the station my Dad owned in the late 40’s early fifties. It didn’t have a lift; it had a pit you went down into and drove a car over it to work on it.” Later it became one of the Standard Oil outlets for gasoline, an Esso station. According to Glazar, “Corky started his taxi station there.” Later, John Fraunberger took over the building in 1992 at 58 Windermere Ave. and renamed it Carriage Auto Repair, where it lasted for several decades as one of the most prominent auto repair facilities in Greenwood Lake.
In 2022 the building was acquired by Dave and Yolanda Kozuha, owners of Greenwood Lake Roasters. Dave is a specialist in evaluating and grading Arabica coffee beans, one of the finest beans grown in the major coffee regions of the world, which includes Central and South America, Africa, and Southern and Southeast Asia. He is a certified organoleptic coffee judge and he regularly consults with dozens of farmers growing coffee beans in the equatorial region that lies between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. He is familiar with hundreds of varietal beans from farms in Ethiopia (original home to the coffee bean) alone and knows a thing or two about coffee. He had former Greenwood Lake artist, Chris Van Vooren, apply a new look to the exterior of the building, although its original garage bay door openings can still be seen.
If you want to stay in touch with the preparations for Greenwood Lake’s extraordinary Centennial celebration in 2024, log onto https://www.facebook.com/gwlcentennialor or https://gwlcentennial.org/