Charles W. Rohrich Cadillac Company
(established 1938)

Rohrich Cadillac - West Liberty Avenue - 1938
The Charles W. Rohrich Cadillac Company, at 2044 West Liberty Avenue, shown here circa-1939.

Rohrich Cadillac has been a mainstay along West Liberty Avenue for over eighty years. Many changes have taken place since the Charles W. Rohrich Cadillac Company first opened its doors in 1938. However, through the years, the "Rohrich Reputation", that tradition of excellence that is synonymous with the Cadillac brand, has remained a constant.

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The Rohrich story begins in Allentown, along Warrington Avenue in 1912, where 29 year old Charles William Rohrich purchased the Hill Top poultry and fish market. Five years later, Charles left the poultry store to serve in the Army during the first World War. He was assigned to Truck Company #3, 23rd Engineers, responsible for road building and maintenance.

Charles W. Rohrich - 1917
Charles W. Rohrich as an engineer in France.

While serving in France, Charles was injured during the Battle of San Mihiel. Around the same time, another family member, a cousin of Charles, was also engaged during the battle and was killed. The Rohrich family was mistakenly informed Charles had lost his life. Thinking their son had passed, the family sold his poultry store.

Charles recovered from his injuries and returned from France in 1919. Without the poultry market he fell back on his military training in vehicle maintenance. Rohrich established the Dormont Auto Station at the corner of West Liberty and Biltmore Avenue in Dormont.

Rohrich Cadillac - West Liberty Avenue - 1926
Dormont Auto Station at the corner of West Liberty and Biltmore Avenue, shown here in July 1926.

In 1923 Charles constructed a new building at the corner of West Liberty and Dormont Avenue. This was his first venture into vehicle sales and the business was called Liberty Motor Sales. Rohrich offered Studebaker, Maxwell, Overland, Willys-Knight and Chysler vehicles.

With the quick growth of the South Hills in the latter part of the 1920s, Liberty Auto Sales began to offer the Packard, which at the time was the top-selling luxury brand in America. Business grew and soon Rohrich was in search of a more spacious facility and showroom.

While business boomed in the late-20s, Charles Rohrich married Florence Weyandt. The couple settled in Mount Lebanon and had two children, James (1928) and Frances (1930).

Rohrich Cadillac - West Liberty Avenue - 1928
Liberty Auto Sales at the corner of West Liberty and Dormont Avenue, shown here in July 1926.

In 1930, Rohrich sold Liberty Auto and had a new dealership built along Washington Road in Mount Lebanon, concentrating on sales of the luxurious Packard. Unfortunately, a steep decline in auto sales and mounting debt during the Great Depression forced Rohrich to sell the business.

The following year, Rohrich purchased a Goodyear station at the corner of West Liberty and Dormont Avenue. He provided repair service, tires, vehicle accessories and gasoline for nearby Liberty Auto Sales. He also began to sell used cars.

Then, in 1938, he founded the Charles W. Rohrich Cadillac Company and moved into a new one-car showroom located at 2044 West Liberty Avenue in Beechview, just north of Pauline Avenue. The building also contained five repair bays and a staff numbering four employees.

Rohrich Cadillac - West Liberty Avenue - 1950
The enlarged Charles W. Rohrich Cadillac Company in 1950 after a recent renovation and expansion.

In 1950, Rohrich Cadillac expanded to a 35,000 square foot facility. Then, during the Korean War, Charles' son Jim joined the Army, following in his father's footsteps by serving in an engineer combat battalion. Like his father before him, Jim Rohrich mastered the skills of vehicle maintenance and, after returning from the war, became a key member of the dealership staff.

Charles Rohrich transfered ownership of the company to his son Jim in 1960. The business was officially renamed Rohrich Cadillac, Incorporated.

Rohrich expanded again in 1970, this time purchasing the former S&H Green Stamp store (formerly A.D. Motors) at the corner of Pauline and West Liberty, doubling the size of the dealership. By the end of the decade, Rohrich began to offer fuel-efficient Toyota vehicles.

Rohrich Cadillac - West Liberty Avenue - 2009
Rohrich Cadillac, along West Liberty Avenue in Beechview, shown here in 2009.

Charles W. Rohrich, age 102, passed away on October 27, 1985. The centenarian still came to work every day until near the end. James Rohrich joined his father on August 19, 1988, and the Rohrich Cadillac company passed to his sons, Dave and Tom Rohrich, the third generation of dedicated, family owners.

Rohrich Cadillac, in 1988, was selected as one of the first Lexus dealers in North America, then welcomed Mazda into the realm in 1997. Further additions included Honda in 2005, Bentley in 2008, and Maserati in 2014.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - May 5, 2013

Coninciding with the 75th anniversary of the company's founding, in late-2012 work began on a new dealership facility along West Liberty Avenue. During the construction period, Rohrich Cadillac's operations were moved to a temporary location nearby along West Liberty Avenue, just south of Wenzell. The "state-of-the-art" facility opened on May 10, 2014.

Rohrich Cadillac - West Liberty Avenue - 2020
The new Rohrich Cadillac facility along West Liberty Avenue, opened in May of 2014.

On the evening of that special grand opening celebration, the highlight was the delivery of a new Cadillac XTS Platinum V Sport Sedan to Mr. Myrle "Buzz" Webb. It was his 50th new Cadillac.

Mr. Webb purchased his first model in 1963, a Brewster Green Coupe Deville. District Manager for Cadillac Motor Car Division, Steve Siwy, and General Sales Manager Chuck Lucci, presented "Buzz" with a plaque in recognition of his loyalty to the Cadillac brand.

* Historical information and photos obtained from the Rohrich Cadillac website and Google Map street view *

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - September 29, 2013

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