Pottsville Man Restoring Old Shenandoah Auto Garage

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SHENANDOAH -- A man from Pottsville is restoring an old auto garage in Schuylkill County.

Mike Kitsock, the man who is restoring the garage, said walking into it is like taking a trip back in time.

"Well, if you like old cars and you need a place to put them, there is no better garage than this," Kitsock said.

To many, the garage is known as "The Packard." Back in the late 1940s, it was an auto body shop and a car dealership owned by Jack Fanelli. His wife, Mary, still lives nearby. The couple sold the garage to Kitsock in 2000. He has renamed it the Victory Garage.

"(Kitsock) came to my husband and said he would like to buy the garage and my husband, Jack, was more than willing to sell it."

Kitsock bought the garage so he could restore it.

"My plans are to bring it back gradually to its heyday and that would be anyway from the 1930s to the 1950s," Kitsock said.

He's doing that by replacing things like the sign on the front of the building. It's a replica of the original.

"We've been returning a lot of the old signage and replace the doors with replicas of the original doors," Kitsock said. "We made sure we redid the roof and the furnace."

In the end, Kitsock wants it to be a place that classic car enthusiasts can store their cars, and even sell them. People in the community are very happy to see Kitsock take such an interest in the garage, bringing new life to Shenandoah.

"There ain't too many businesses around here," Mike Uhoilk of Shenandoah said. "It's a depressed area, you know. But, Mike`s trying to revive this place and he`s doing a good job at it, you know."

Kitsock plans to continue his restoration work by adding a Studebaker sign out front and by painting the windows.

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