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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  John North Willys


The New York Times
April 5, 1914

Elimination of the Horse Means Increase in Land Available Also, Says Willys.

An angle of the automobile business which a great majority of the people of this country have failed to take into consideration is that of the increase in real estate values since the horse was relegated to the background by the motor car, according to John N. Willys, motor car builder.  There is no way of estimating this increase in dollars and cents, but it has been country-wide from the congested city districts to the most remote farming territory.

"In the cities the elimination of the horse barn has added millions of dollars to the value of downtown real estate," said Mr. Willys last week.  "For years past we have seen desirable manufacturing enterprises driven away from areas where horses were housed.  It has been out of the question to attempt to build residences anywhere near territories where there are a number of stables.  With the substitution of the automobile garage for the horse barn, real estate values have increased by leaps and bounds, the added worth in some cases being as much as 100 per cent.

And it is not only in dollars and cents that we have seen this increase in city real estate values.  With the elimination of the horse we have added large areas of unoccupied property in our downtown sections.  An automobile can be housed in so much less space than that required for horse and wagons that, literally, millions of dollars worth of land has been made available for other purposes as fast as business concerns have done away with their horses.  The same conditions hold true in every small town and village of the country.  And in think farming districts we find constantly increasing land values as the pleasure automobile and commercial vehicle have come into more general use.  The motor-driven car has brought the most remote farm into touch with the world, for gasoline has eliminated distance."

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