Hope Street Auto Center

A sweet little post-Art Deco brick gas station in the middle of the Hope Street commercial district. Probably contaminated and hard to subdivide, so it came down.

About this Property

#Reason for Demolition

A sinking feeling entered my gut when I saw the machine. I knew it wouldn’t be long, but I didn’t know it would come down so soon, and so quickly, though, not without its own little fights. Passersby marvelled at the skill of the driver, who picked out peices of metal and separated them as the building came down.

An unassuming little gas station which hasn’t sold gas since what might have been 1992, was up until last year a functioning car repair shop. High rent forced the auto business out, and a “For Sale” sign went up. We called, out of curiosity, because it would have made a great design studio. A price of $350,000 made me think twice. Soon after, a “For Lease” sign appeared with a 617 area code. Some Boston developer, one can assume.

#Current Events

By March the new steel structure was up. It took until August for businesses to move in. The new cinder block box has no charm or architectural details, and its parking lot in front is out of character with the rest of Hope Street, aside from the gas stations. A charming structure came down for a bland box, and sure, the retailers there are doing well now, and the repair shop might have been harder to subdivide, but must everything new we build be so bland? Utilitarian is one thing, but ugly is quite another, especially in the quaintly-coined “Hope Village”.

That a great building and business like Seven Stars started in what was a former gas station should have made someone think twice about razing this cute little structure. The bland cinder-block replacement building is home to Citi Nails, Apsara Palace, and On the Go Laundromat.