Route 66 auto museum planned for former Monrovia Market building

The Development Review Committee of the city of Monrovia, California, last week approved a proposal to reuse the former Monrovia Market building as a Route 66 automotive museum and special event center.

Artist’s rendering of adapted Monrovia Market building.

The proposal advances to the city’s Planning Commission on Sept. 11. The building is at 525 S. Shamrock Ave. (map here), part of a 1930s alignment of Route 66.

The Monrovia Weekly reported:

The museum would showcase several 1950 classic cars and memorabilia owned by the late Fred Bowden and could be rented out for private parties and gatherings on a limited basis. The project proposal also includes the addition of two residential loft units on the second floor.

Based on the artist’s rendering and a 2012 photograph of the building, a second floor will be added.

Bowden, a developer with longtime ties to Monrovia, died at age 75 in February 2018.

The last occupant of the building was the Market Grill, which closed in late 2016, according to its Facebook page. According to a 2017 report by the Monrovia city manager, someone planned to repurpose the building as a furniture store.

The city put fencing around the vacant property last year to keep it from becoming a nuisance.

The Monrovia Market in 2012 via Google Street View.

According to Los Angeles County property records, the structure was built in 1924. So it certainly has some historic cachet.

(An artist’s rendering of the proposed adaptation of the Monrovia Market building in Monrovia, California, via the Monrovia city manager’s report; an excerpted image of Monrovia Market in 2012 via Google Street View)

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