Building Description Gertenslager Carriage and Wagon Company, Wooster Ohio

The Gertenslager Carriage and Wagon Company was built in 1908 to house a buggy factory and the structure has been altered only by a minor addition in the 1920s. The building was constructed in an "L" shape with the base of the "L" (area A of map shown below) facing south onto East Liberty Street, the main thoroughfare of Wooster. This portion of the building is three stories high with an exposed basement. The long portion of the "L" (B, C, and D) faces Spink Street on the east and is two stories tall without a basement. Area "C" was originally a narrow two-story passage connecting Areas "B" and "D". It was expanded to enclose the area between these two sections between 1923 and 1930.

The building is brick laid in a header bond pattern. The south facade is divided into eight nearly identical bays. Windows are paired and placed one above the other on each of the three upper levels. The window groupings within each bay are recessed. A long, narrow, rectangular pattern is recessed above each bay. The flat piers between each bay form a continuous surface across and below the rectangular recesses. Alternate piers project above the roofline. The windows, which number over one hundred, are identical, each with a segmental arch with double radiating voussoirs and a stone lug sill. There is not a central entrance; rather, there are two small entries on the first level reached by steps from the street and two garage entrances on the basement level. The roof is of a shed design for drainage purposes.

The interior of the building is primarily unobstructed open space with thick vertical wooden beams providing support for the joists. Area "A" contains three identical floors of 5200 square feet each. The floors are constructed of wide wooden planks. The ceilings are 12 to 14 feet high and have exposed wooden beams. Areas "A" and "B" are separated by a brick wall with two garage door size openings. There is also an exposed basement measuring another 5200 square feet in Area "A", The basement has eight foot ceilings and a concrete floor. The north wall of the basement is a rock face block foundation. On the basement level of the south facade, there are windows identical to those on the remainder of the building and two large garage door size openings. When built, this part of the building housed a display area on the first story, stock storage on the second story, woodturning, upholstering, and painting shops on the third story, and crate storage in the basement.

Area "B" measures 52' x 74' and consists of two floors laid out in the same fashion as Areas "C" and "D", Originally it was divided equally into east and west halves. The east half stored wheel stock on the first story and buggy wheel rims on the second story; the west half contained a blacksmith shop on the first floor and provided more storage for body stock on the second story. Traces of a painted sign for the Wooster Tractor Sales are visible on the east facade of this section.

Area "C" originally was a two-story passage between areas "B" and "D" and has since been enclosed, making it a narrow, long room of 900 square feet. It is two stories tall with a dirt floor and exposed wooden ceiling. Windows similar in design to those on the exterior face into Area "C" from both floors of Areas "B" and "D", reflecting the fact that these were once exterior walls. Four large garage door size entrances connect both floors of Area "B" and "D". The walls of Area "C" are built of brick laid in a header bond pattern and are approximately twenty-six feet high.

Area "D" consists of two floors, each measuring 2350 square feet and is built into the hillside on the north end of the lot. The ground floor is concrete and the second floor has wide wooden planks. Wide wooden beams provide the vertical support for the second floor, and the ceiling height is twelve feet for both floors. Both floors of this area originally served as a warehouse for stock. Traces of a painted sign remain on the north facade.

Gertenslager Carriage and Wagon Company, Wooster Ohio