Tag: buildings

Banks, restaurants, and museum pieces: Second acts for vintage gas stations around the U.S. – Michael Milne @Hemmings


There’s a scene in the movie Back to the Future where Michael J. Fox’s character watches a car pull up to a 1950’s gas station as a crew of bowtie-wearing uniformed attendants rushes out to fill the tank, check the oil, and clean the windshield. For those who grew up in the pump-it-yourself era, that was quite an eye-opener. Most of those older service stations have been torn down to make way for 24-pump self-serve behemoths, but enough have lived on with updated uses to give the modern classic car buff a hint of the way things used to be.

History Detectives

Since so many old gas stations are now considered historic structures themselves, it’s not surprising that many of them are put to use interpreting local history. In Gloucester Courthouse, Virginia, the Fairfield Foundation preservation group occupies a 1930 Texaco service station that was built in the “Denver” style. Soon to become Texaco’s first official national design, the station was built with a peaked tile roof and chimneys to look more like a house to blend into residential neighborhoods.At one time there were eight Shell Oil service stations in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, area that were built in the shape of a giant seashell. Today, the only remaining example of these 1930s-era buildings survives at the corner of Peachtree Street and E. Sprague Street. The bright yellow structure, complete with vintage gas pumps, is managed by Preservation North Carolina as a monument to quirky service-station architecture

Read on