This building is located at the north end of the Grand Concourse with sides on East Mosholu Parkway South and Van Cortlandt Ave. East. The sign faces north and reads:
The last line refers to the address where the "detour" is intended to lead - i.e., Jerome Ave. at East 183rd St., where the Ferris Buick dealership was located. 2301 Jerome Ave. is approximately 1.8 miles south of this end of the Grand Concourse, which is a few feet east of Jerome Ave. So the sign directs you to drive west a few feet to Jerome Ave., then south 1.8 miles to 183rd St.
On 10 June 1946 the New York Times, p. 44, reported, "The Ferris Buick Company has leased the two-story garage at 2301 Jerome Avenue, containing 25,000 square feet of space, for a long term for the sale and servicing of Buick cars."
The Bronx telephone directory listed Ferris Buick at 2301 Jerome Ave. from 1947 to 1961.
The founder of Ferris Buick was Richard Sanford Ferris (1899-1993). Richard S. Ferris was born 27 Feb. 1899 in Brooklyn, NY, and died 26 April 1993 in Brevard, Florida. He was recorded in the 1940 U. S. Census, age 44, living in Valley Stream, Nassau County, NY, a "service manager, automobile." The genealogical site www.dentisty.org gives Richard S. Ferris's father as Harvey Merrill Ferris (c1847-1920). "Born to Harvey and his second wife, Fanny was: Richard Sanford Ferris born February 27, 1899; married Lillian Bolton born January 8, 1900 and born to them was James Sanford Ferris married Annette Bogden." Richard S. Ferris, age 11, lived with his father, Harvey M. Ferris at 394 State St., Brooklyn, in the 1910 U. S. Census. He was 21 years old, living with his mother-in-law, Augusta Bolton, on Conklin St., Oyster Bay, Nassau County, in the 1920 Census. And he was 32 years old, living at 148 Sunrise Highway, Valley Stream, Nassau County, in the 1930 census.
A story in New York Age, 26 Sept. 1953, pg. 18, includes, "… Richard S. Ferris, president of the organization, and referred to him as the dynamo who sparks the outfit, which accounts for its demonstrated creative imagination. Ferris Buick has been in existence since 1945 but Ferris, sr., started in the automobile business back in 1918. A feature article appearing in the current issue of Life in the Bronx traces his ancestry back 299 years to 1654 in Fairfield, Conn. It reads like American history. His has been a life of business application and outstanding civic service. …"
Ferris Buick was included in this advertisement from the New Yorker Magazine, 20 Sept. 1952. Their listing read, "Ferris Buick, Inc. 2301 Jerome Ave. LUdlow 4-2211."
This sign is included in Kevin Walsh's Forgotten New York. Kevin's photo is not dated, but some details are clearer, such as the word "detour" at the top.
Copyright © 2010 Walter Grutchfield