Frank Falkner, an auto mechanic, and his wife, Clara, purchased this property from A.A. Warenbrock on October 8, 1923. They obtained a building permit on October 28, 1923 for a $6,000 tile garage. Erected during a major North Park building boom encouraged by the improvement of the automobile, the structure was located on 30th Street between Thorn and Upas, a recently paved major thoroughfare which conveyed North Park residents to Tijuana. The Sunday December 30, 1923 development section on the San Diego Union featured a photograph of the garage on a page which boasted, Industrial Development Increases As Homes Are Added. It explained, As a result the construction of industrial buildings has had to keep pace with the building of dwellings. The garage was considered one of the more prominent industrial buildings now under construction.

It was no accident that this garage emerged on this block at this time. In fact, all structures on the east side of 30th Street between Thorn and Upas were built after the paving of the street in 1922. Prior to this time, no buildings existed on this half of the block. The garage represented an important connection to the developing car culture chronicled so well by Ashleigh Brilliant in his 1989 book, The Great Car Craze: How Southern California Collided With the Automobile in the 1920s. He wrote about two great Southern California booms of the 1880s and the 1920s, both closely allied with the field of transportation - first the completion of the Santa Fe Railroad and then the automobile, commencing in 1919 evolved from its experimental period into a decade of vigorous expansion. Brilliant said, Boosters of Southern California also realized the need for good roads to attract more tourists and contribute to the general growth and prosperity of the region. With roads, climate, and scenery to offer the motorist, Southern California soon took permanent lead in the world automotive sweepstakes. And, this garage, important to the maintenance of the car culture, located on 30th Street, a main transportation artery which connected this growing section to Tijuana (documented on early maps), fit right into this scenario.

In 1923, car registrations in California passed the million mark. Brilliant claimed motor cars absolutely revolutionized the entire southern half of the State as regards its commercial expansion and its steady increase in population...From whatever angle you may view the striking Southern California progress, you will be compelled to acknowledge that the automobile is responsible for more than any other half dozed factors, for its phenomenal advancement...If California ever adopts a new State flower, the motor car is a logical blossom for the honor!

It was the automobile which spurred the development of most new businesses between 1919 and 1929 in Southern California, the garage, the service station, tire shops, auto showrooms, auto wreckers, auto laundries and auto camps, courts, and motels. Building aesthetics became an important consideration. This garage, with its eye-catching curvilinear parapet, provided an appealing approach to the utilitarian edifice. Well constructed, the hollow clay tile structure with brick reinforcement pilasters, featured distinctive wood paneled folding doors on the west and east facing facades, and a spectacular barrel vaulted interior ceiling. Upon completion of this building in early 1924, Paul Canfield rented the structure within which he repaired Model T Fords. R.V. Gray leased the garage from 1925-1927 and operated Court Garage which catered to Model T service as well. The Court Garage continued under other proprietors in 1928 and 1929, and Paul Canfield auto repair business returned here from 1930-1931. From 1932 to 1943, master mechanic, Ferd Feryan repaired autos at this address. Commencing in 1946, Edward L. Ristau ran Ristau and Son and Ristau Auto Body Shop, with partner, Bill Casteel. They moved the World War II vintage Quonset hut to the rear of the property in 1946 for use as a paint booth. It was at this time that Quentin Laywell came to work here. Born in Arkansas on September 19, 1920, Mr. Laywell attended Bear Frame and Chassis School in Rock Island, Illinois, and came to California in July 1941, where he found employment at University Ford located at 1226 University Ave. In 1942, Laywell assisted the World War II effort at Consolidated Vultee as a jig builder and tool maker. He developed special tool prototypes for Norton Bomb Sights utilized by B-24 bombers and other military aircraft. He also designed a jig to hold blister tail gun rings on PBY2 and PBY4 sea planes. He held top secret clearance necessary for this highly classified work.

On January 1, 1946, Quentin Laywell, offered a job by Edward Ristau at this successful garage, came to this location where he provided auto body repair estimates and assisted with auto body work. Garner Stroud, his friend from Arkansas, joined the staff here where he sanded cars after he left the service, also in 1946. In May 1954, Laywell and Stroud bought the building and the business. They changed the name to North Park Auto Body Shop. Stroud remained a partner until 1962 when he conveyed his interests to Laywell.

In addition to the auto body business, Mr. Laywell contributed much time and expertise to the advancement of his profession. He headed the California Apprenticeship Program, and from the early 1960s through the 1970s, he worked with the State of California and the local community colleges to develop the V.I.C.A. (Vocational and Industrial Clubs of America) Program. As the State Director of Education for the California Auto Body Shop Association, his work with V.I.C.A. led to the only V.I.C.A. state testing and contest finals ever held in the San Diego region sponsored jointly by the San Diego Community College District and the California Industrial Education Department of the State of California.

During this time , North Park Auto Body Shop employed between 7 and 9 employees. Customers included insurance referrals and local residents.

This unique garage, built when the automobile changed transportation habits in Southern California between 1919 and 1929, remains an aesthetic monument to the car culture. Erected on the newly paved 30th Street thoroughfare during the North Park building boom spurred by the improved and more accessible automobile, it remains one of the earliest and best preserved garages in the County of San Diego which recalls the early role the auto played in our social history. Quentin Laywell, master auto body repairman who worked in this garage from 1946-2001, is significant for his role in this important business industry and for his work with the development and advancement of the California Apprenticeship Program, the V.I.C.A. Program, and the California Auto Body Association.