Portion of Athens Avenue to Get Historic Name Change?
To honor the history of one of Lakewood’s oldest industrial facilities, council eyes changing part of street to ‘Templar Motors Way.’
One of the most historic companies of Lakewood’s past may soon have a street named after it.
Actually, Templar Avenue was the original name of what is now Athens Avenue.
Mary Louise Madigan, the Ward 4 councilwoman, introduced a measure to city council that would name a portion of Athens Avenue to honor the Templar Motors company.
“Templar Motors Way” would run near the Lake Erie Screw Building, the former home of the Templar Motors company.
“This allows us to recognize our city’s industrial history and highlight the innovation currently going on throughout the east end,” Madigan wrote to council.
In its heyday, the company employed 900 workers; had sales centers in 32 states and 15 foreign countries. The company even attracted famous racecar driver Cannonball Baker.
World War I limited production at the plant, as the building was used for manufacturing munitions.
The Great Depression signaled the end of the high-end automobile company.
“The building remains of great historical significance to our community,” Madigan said.
“We’re trying to work forward on this through the centennial,” David Buehler, who owns the final set of Templar cars and keeps them on the top floor of the building where the cars would have been assembled.
Buehler has conducted lots of research related to the company, which he shared with council.
The first car that drove over the Detroit-Superior Bridge was a Templar. The company that built that bridge also built Lakewood Hospital as well as the Templar Motors Company building — now commonly known as the Lake Erie Screw Factory.
“It’s a West Side story, it’s a neighborhood story,” Buehler said. “And it’s a national story."