In the downtown Chattanooga Public Library’s local history files is an interesting artifact of the West Side Urban Renewal project of the 1950s and 1960s. The file on Chattanooga Garage includes a letter which was mailed on July 22, 1960 to customers by Tom C. Foust, president of the company and a member of the Chattanooga Automobile Club.
At the time, Chattanooga Garage was located at 715-23 Pine St., one of many properties on the West Side slated for demolition and site redevelopment. Very few properties escaped the Urban Renewal excavators and dozers.
Through a mass mailing, Mr. Foust was contacting customers to thank them and to let them know that service would be continued at a new address to be determined. He had accepted the offer of the Chattanooga Housing Authority (CHA) to buy the current location but lease it until the CHA needed the property. Mr. Foust was hopeful of buying one of the Housing Authority’s properties and building a new garage.
The business had operated on the West Side for many years. The Sept. 8, 1925 Chattanooga News reported that Foust Brothers were relocating the Chattanooga Garage from 17-19-21 Carter St. to Pine where the Joe Willis garage had been located. The Pine Street building was extensively remodeled and could house up to 100 cars.
Products and services offered included Esso gasoline, car and truck maintenance, storage, and towing. Several advertisements over the years in local newspapers were for used vehicles available for purchase.
Some downtown auto maintenance competitors in 1960 included Watt Boles Auto Service at 501 Chestnut St. before moving to 2022 E. 23rd Street, Firestone at 201-205 Market St., and Goodyear at 204-14 Market St.
The idea for the Chattanooga Garage to have a new building on the West Side did not materialize. Later addresses were 2718 Rossville Blvd. (1962-1967), 2715 Rossville Blvd. (1968), and 1510 E. 27th St. (1969-1975). Owner Tom Foust passed away in 1979. The Fousts were longtime residents of Cameron Hill
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