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East Avenue Auto now a convenience store

 

For a stint this cool example of 50’s (?) roadside gas station architecture was a tire repair shop. Heard the asking price for it when it was on the market was around 200,000 back in 2001, maybe because of its proximity to the highway.

I’ve always really liked this building for its pointy roofline over the office. Always thought it would make a great design studio, or laundrymat, or something. In 2005-2006 the building was purchased, cleaned up, painted and was a breakfast and lunch place with smoothies and salads called Jac’s Wraps. They also had the most giant armchairs in there. They lasted for about 5 years.

 

It has been said that the architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for Phillips 66 revolutionized the way gas stations were built, and was the inspiration for canopies over the filling area much like this example in Pawtucket.

From horse-drawn gasoline pumps in the early 1900’s to cottage-style full-service stations in the 1920’s to self-serve pumps at today’s convenience stores, gas stations have been a mainstay of the American landscape for almost a century. Perhaps no station better exemplifies the stature achieved by this ubiquitous building type than the Lindholm Oil Company service station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Seeking to raise the gas station from a utilitarian structure to a work of architecture, Wright originally conceived this design as a prototype for his Broadacre City proposals of the 1930s. The Cloquet station is the only one ever built from Wright’s drawings.

Constructed of concrete block, cypress wood, glass and steel, the Lindholm service station features a cantilevered copper canopy, radiant heat, glassed-in observation lounge and four service bays. Fire codes thwarted Wright’s plan to supply gas from overhead pumps, which would have left the ground level open for vehicle movement. Although Wright’s hopes for his gas station of the future were never fully realized, elements of the design were later incorporated into many Phillips 66 stations.

From the Minnesota Historical Society

While this service station is not a direct descendant of the ground-breaking mid-century design, it is an interesting local example of this thinking.

Tom Oct 12 2017 This was home to Gibby’s repair shop. As I recall, when he bought the place, they gave up selling gas, and focused on low-cost/high-quality repairs. They had a pretty thriving business. Gibby was a little fire plug of a guy, full of life and enthusiasm, He died suddenly, I believe from a heart attack. The shop closed down, and was, to the best of my knowledge, never reopened.

Kirk Snow I remember this as Gibby’s gas station from when I was a kid. I would have to ask my father, but I seem to recall that the family that ran it struggled to keep the business alive after they could not afford to keep up with federally mandated changes to the gas tanks. They existed for a while just as a mechanic shop. I’m not sure when the family had to finally close it all down.

Wayne Henderson This is one of the thousands of such buildings built for Phillips Petroleum between 1957 and 1970. The concept was taken from some design elements in a Frank Lloyd Wright designed Phillips 66 station in Cloquet, MN. After completion of that building, the corporate architects modified the design to make it more usable for car care of the era and built literally thousands of these peaked canopy units. Many are still in use, even as Phillips 66 stations, although I haven’t seen an unmodified one in over 10 years (Rolla, MO, about 1992 comes to mind)

Emily This is now a cafe, Jac’s (named for the abbreviation of the owner and his friends’ names :) – he’s really nice, the food is fresh and good, and they have live music sometimes on the weekend. Smoothies too.

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