Home to the Dorris automobile that was rolled out in 1906 for the New York Auto Show, the car resulted from the collaboration of John French and Preston Dorris two young men who as teenagers became lifelong friends while living in Nashville.
French and Dorris began by building small engines that transitioned into building the first Dorris car that was in operation in 1898. During that same year French decided to build an automobile manufacturing plant and sent for Dorris who was back in Nashville.
Together they formed the St. Louis Motor Carriage Company. Follwing the death of French around 1905 the company was moved to Peoria by French's brother and Dorris resigned.
Dorris partnered with Henry B. Krenning to form the Dorris Motor Car Company later acquiring the lot at its current location on the corner of Sarah and Laclede.
The first "Dorris" car rolled off the line in 1913. As Ford and Detroit-based competition prospered the company was forced to close in 1926. The building was purchased by the Olive Cadillac company in 1941 and then Lindbergh Cadillac.
George Dorris continued to tinker and built a gear manufacturing company that was retooled to building airplane parts during WWII. Dorris died at the age of 94 in 1968.
Residents can walk across the street to Juniper for lunch or dinner, shop at IKEA nearby or walk to work at Cortex.
Just a short drive away is the Central West End restaurant and dining district, the Washington University Medical School campus, Whole Foods, the library, Starbuck's and much more.
Written by Gregg Sharpe
Get More Info About This Building
4100 Laclede, St. Louis, MO 63108
YEAR BUILT: 1911
HEIGHT: 42 ft