Griffin Motor Company

National Register Listing
Street Address:
329 N. Irby St., Florence, SC (Florence County)

NRHP Nomination


Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
The Griffin Motor Company, built 1950-51, is located just outside of the main business district of Florence. This one-story, flat-roofed building is composed of stucco and unpainted Orangeburg brick on its street-facing façade. The building is generally rectangular in shape, and consists of three primary spaces: the showroom, the service shop, and the part rooms. Construction on the building began in 1950 and was completed in March 1951. The mid-century modern building was designed by W.D. Harper & Sons. The building served as an Oldsmobile dealership and service shop until 1962. Griffin Motor Company is significant for its association with the evolution of car sales after World War II and for its role in the early history of NASCAR and the Darlington Raceway. The dealership established an official racing team, sold many of the early stock race cars, and serviced and inspected race cars at their garage. The building is also significant as a local example of International style architecture. The design of the building is consistent with the ideals of General Motors 1948 publication Planning Automobile Dealers Properties, which encouraged floor to ceiling glass walls for showrooms. The emphasis on Modernism was also in keeping with the “Futuramic” campaign by Oldsmobile, which sought to sell the company’s cars as an essential part of the ideal modern lifestyle. Listed in the National Register October 2, 2018.
Period of Significance:
1951 – 1962
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
October 2 2018

Related places
Florence County