The Duarte Garage was built in 1915 by F.H. Duarte on the original Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental U.S. Highway. When the Carquinez Bridge was opened in 1927, the highway was re-routed and this section was eventually renamed Portola Avenue.
The garage sold Associated gasoline and oil products and also performed repairs. In 1923 the south half of the garage was added and became an automobile dealership, selling Durant Star and Flint models. Robert Livermore Jr. was one of the salesmen in the early 1920’s.
In the early 1940’s the garage was converted into a machine shop for rebuilding winery and farm equipment. During the 1970’s the City of Livermore purchased the Duarte Garage and surrounding land for use as a park. The Livermore Heritage Guild signed a lease in 1976 to restore and maintain the garage for use as a museum.
The Duarte Garage before restoration
The Duarte Garage and Lincoln Highway Museum is open the 3rd Sunday of each month. The Annual Heritage Guild Dinner and Auction is held the Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend and is a particular favorite for people from all around.
Example of a display in the Duarte Garage Museum
There are numerous events during the year featuring antique and classic automobiles. Car clubs are encouraged to visit. Below are photos from a recent meeting of a Studebaker Club visit in April of 2006.
The north end of the garage and the authentic Coca Cola sign on the northeast corner offer unique photo opportunities.
One of the Garage projects is the restoration of a Model T fire truck that belonged to the Livermore Fire Department. The truck was put together from various parts by the volunteer Fire Department staff in the 1930's so they could respond to smaller fires, such as cooking fires in a kitchen. The photo below shows Chuck McFann (left) and Bill Junk (right) who, working with Tim Sage (not shown), are restoring the truck.