Website Updating: Gas Stations & Eateries

I’ve gotten through another 700 pages or so of my website with this winter project.  Time for a post.  The good news is that most of the thousands of buildings in these two sections are still standing and remain basically unchanged for the past couple of years.  Let’s talk gas stations first.

This station in Fresno, CA is no more.  Vacant for many years, probably spared by its location on the outskirts.  Demolished in the last year or so — now a big dirt lot:

This long neglected former Conoco station in Chicago, IL now has a strange, second floor addition.  Here’s the “before”:

And the ugly, what-the-hell “after” look courtesy of Google Street View from last year.  I guess that would be a living space and make the building more sell-able?  Still surrounded with chain link though and looking rough otherwise:


This former station in Lynn, MA has been vacant and looked increasingly rough for decades.  My photo from 2009:

Surprise!  Last year, it apparently got some scrubbing and paint (grey is better than nothing).  I’m so glad they kept the clock.  In fact, the time is different so maybe they even fixed it?



I had long admired this station in Brookline, MA.  Here’s a photo I took in 2004 when there were still pumps:

In 2007, it found new life as a restaurant:

It housed a couple of other restaurants after that until it was demolished last year.  Google SV shows what they are planning for the lot — a stacked-up mess of a building, if you ask me:


This surviving Mobil station in New Ulm, MN was too good to be true to survive much longer I guess.  Here are a couple of photo that I took in 2012:

There are still some Eliot Noyes-designed 1960s Mobil cylinder pumps out there (mostly in North Carolina).  But now there are six left of them.  Last year-ish, the building was completely remodeled (or new building with same footprint) for a real estate office and the pumps & signs were gone.  Here’s the current, boring look:



This nice (and super rare) vertical, neon Gulf sign in Whitehouse, NJ survived until 2017:

While the Gulf station (building nothing special, believe me) survives and is still operating, here’s what has been erected in the sign’s place (yeah, dullsville backlit plastic letters):


This gas station in Mumford, NY was built in 1933.  When I first saw it in 2005, it was operating as a CITGO station.  But the building was vacant by 2010 and started going downhill.

Miraculously, earlier this year, the building got cleaned up and now houses a gift shop (yes, the pump & island & pump lights are gone):


This time-capsule, restored Texaco in La Grande, OR with operating pumps…

… was sold around 2018.  The pumps have been removed and I’m sure the memorabilia inside the office and bays are gone.  The signs and stars on the building remain but the lot is used for truck parking.  Sigh.

This former Texaco in Portland, OR had been repurposed a number of times over the years.  A teriyaki restaurant in 2008:

The Hawaiian Time restaurant in 2015:

Then, the building was demolished last year.  Here’s what’s going up on the lot right now:



This former Amoco station in Clarksburg, WV still had its porcelain panels until…

around last year when the building was refaced with stone:




This former station in Canton, OH housed an auto repair and towing business for many years:

Earlier this year, the building go some unfortunate orange paint and began housing Walkie Talkie Espresso & Coffee:




Let’s move on to the EATERIES section.

Another vintage Big Boy statue is gone.  This one was in Coldwater, MI:

Actually, I think the statue was vintage but the burger was a later replacement.  The truly vintage burgers were shorter and more rounded.  That Coldwater location closed around last year.  The good news, there are still lots of these statue left in Michigan (and elsewhere):


This castle-style Burger King in Buena Park, CA is gone now.   Earlier this year, the building was remodeled (castle details gone) and it now houses a Starbucks:


This long-vacant, former Orange Julius in Los Angeles, CA…

… began housing the Ktchn Sandwich Spot earlier this year:


The Fosters Freeze sign in Berkeley, CA

… was repainted around last year:


This former Howard Johnson’s gatehouse building in New Castle, DE was demolished earlier this year:

This former Howard Johnson’s restaurant building in San Luis Obispo, CA…

… began housing the Taco Temple earlier this year:


Lastly, a couple of cute, small buildings in Texas are gone now.  Vick’s Famous Hamburgers in Corpus Christi moved to another location last year and this building was demo-ed:

The Dale’s Grand Burger Foto-mat-ish building in Amarillo disappeared last year:


There are just two sections left to comb for this winter’s project (Signs & Mid-Century Modern Buildings) but they are the biggest.  So, you won’t be hearing from me for at least a few weeks.   Wishing you all the best for the holidays and 2020!!

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

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