Cook & Stoddard Company Sold Luxury Vehicles on Connecticut Avenue
In the early 20th century, the Cook & Stoddard Company operated an auto dealership at 1138 Connecticut Avenue NW in downtown Washington DC. They were the leading seller of Cadillac motor cars in the city prior to World War I. The elegant showroom and garage facility first opened in 1912, housing Cadillacs and other luxury vehicles of the day.
When the new salesroom opened in 1912, The Washington Post took note of its grand accommodations:
“The quarters are complete and spacious, taking up the whole imposing granite front of the place, which has been specially planned and built for the garaging and exhibiting of automobiles.”
The Cook & Stoddard Company aimed to provide a top-notch sales experience befitting luxury brands like Cadillac.
Dealership Attracted Washington Elites and Auto Enthusiasts
The showroom quickly became a popular attraction in Washington, drawing society’s elite and everyday car enthusiasts alike. When new Cadillac models were unveiled in 1914, it sparked quite a scene:
“Large crowds at the salesroom of Cook & Stoddard Company viewed the new 1915 model of the Cadillac car yesterday…In appearance, appointments and equipment the new car won admiration.”
That year’s model generated buzz for its improved features:
“The new model seen yesterday was the eight-cylinder car, which has been improved in minor features of equipment, the chassis remaining precisely as it was last year.”
The superior Cadillacs appealed to various auto buyers – from politicians to businessmen to everyday motorists.
Showroom Moved as Cadillac Brand Expanded Nationwide
While Cook & Stoddard remained deeply linked to Cadillac in Washington for over 15 years, the automaker began expanding nationwide in the late 1920s. As custom-built Cadillacs catering to elite tastes were being showcased more broadly, Cook & Stoddard’s singular position shifted.
By the 1930s Cadillac no longer had an exclusive regional dealer but several certified outlets in the capital area. The era of crowds flocking to Connecticut Ave for the latest Cadillacs drew to a close.