Hartway Motors celebrates completion of remodeled dealership

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 October 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Hartway Motors welcomed customers for an annual appreciation day on Thursday. The community was welcomed inside to see renovations to the Chevrolet dealership in Medina at 320 North Main St.

MEDINA – A dealership that has been a presence in downtown Medina since 1932 has a new look. It wasn’t easy, but Hartway Motors was able to meet the demands for corporate branding, while preserving the historical integrity of its building at 320 North Main St.

“I think the remodel enhanced what was here and brought it up to date,” said Lisa Hartway Enderby, co-owner of the dealership with her sister Bridget DiCureia and brother Richard Hartway. They bought the business from their father Charles Hartway a decade ago. He remains a frequent presence at the dealership and stopped by for customer appreciation day on Thursday.

The project was completed in June. On Thursday, Hartway Motors had its annual open house, the first time some community members were inside to see the renovated showroom.

A 2014 Chevy Spark is inside the showroom for the annual open house at Hartway Motors.

The most prominent changes are outside with a large blue entry arch, which signifies the site as a Chevy dealership.

Enderby said the building has preserved many of its historical features and now has better lighting and acoustics.

Her grandfather, Frank J. Payjack, first opened the dealership in 1932 across the street. General Motors asked him to upgrade his dealership. He knocked down a house across the street and built the Hartway Motors site in 1948.

Provided photo – Frank J. Payjack, grandfather of the current owners of Hartway Motors, built this site in 1948.

That Hartway building featured a post-war architectural style known as Streamline Moderne, characterized by a lack of decoration with a flat roof, white walls, glass block, and curved, aerodynamic forms, noted Chris Busch, chairman of the Medina Planning Board.

The Hartway site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as an example of Streamline Moderne and also for being in the downtown Medina business district.

Enderby worked to satisfy the demands from Chevy for the entry arch and cosmetic changes on the building. She didn’t want to leave the downtown and have a typical suburban dealership.

The Medina Historic and Architectural Review Board said the building’s historic features remain, namely the rounded windows.

“You might be tempted to lump this structure with the proposed changes into the pile with all the other newer suburban Chevrolet dealerships,” Busch said in February while the front sign was under construction. “However, upon closer inspection, you will see that the Hartway structure is indeed different in that it does maintain the essential design characteristics of the original Streamline Moderne.”

The Hartway site also keeps a pedestrian scale and fits in with the neighborhood and other nearby businesses, Busch said.

Enderby believes the project struck a nice balance with keeping the historical flavor of the site while embracing new features.

“With car dealerships the whole idea is moving forward with technology,” she said.