144 Walton Street was built around 1903 to house a carriage repair shop. In the 1920s, the structure was altered to accommodate a gas station. In 1987, it was transformed into offices and retail shops.Read More
The majority of the Walton Street area’s development took place between 1860 and 1900, and was the result of intensive railroad activity and the proximity to the Erie Canal. This was the city’s prime commercial and warehouse center until the trains left the streets of Syracuse in the 1930’s.
This building eventually transitioned from a carriage repair shop to servicing gas-powered vehicles. In order to meet the change, a ramp was built from the street to the second floor for cars to drive up. Stairs have since replaced the ramp. Syracuse got a fast start with the auto business thanks to local proponents like John Wilkinson, Willard C. Lipe and Alexander T. Brown. Wilkinson’s air-cooled engine concept impressed local aluminum die cast producer Herbert H. Franklin. With Brown and others, Franklin began car production on the west side. Franklin auto became Syracuse’s largest employer by the 1920s.
A 1902 Franklin automobile