Sunday, December 02, 2007

Recycled Gas Stations

Once upon a time, there were many more gasoline stations than today. Even one in Bumblebee in a back-country Arizona desert.

Yes, the old fashioned, independent stop remains down in Skull Valley and, Catalyst reports, has been upgraded some time in the past nine months since I took this picture. However, new styles of ownership have decimated the ranks of the independents, forcing the owners to find new uses for old buildings.

Periodically, a piece of property becomes so valuable that it can pay to tear down the structure, followed by years of "mitigation" of underground oil and gas leaks. Surely it was at least five or six years that the corner of Goodwin & Montezuma Streets housed a mysterious, keep-out-posted little building engaged in purifying soils from maybe 75 years worth of service stations.

Apparently if the original building is left intact, there's no call for mitigation. In Prescott, it's easy to find locations that are obviously recycled, for example this auto detailing & car wash on Sheldon Street.

Many more, such as the UPS Store, on Gurley Street which was, after all, old US-89 through the center of town.

There's also a used vehicle dealer...

...a specialist in European car maintenance (fittingly right next door to a recycled fast food operation -- IHOP, in this case)...

...and, at the corner of Gurley and Grove, Allison's, which did try offering pumps in the 90s, then gave up in the face of competition from C-stores and Fry's down the street.

A little further on is the Arizona Wildfire Academy, housed in yet another former gas station.

Thus far, recycling this location on Miller Valley next to the True Value has not proved out. Maybe it needs to be turned into something a bit more exotic -- an antiquery, for example.

I've noticed configurations which suggest a previous life serving up petrol. For instance, the obvious drive-through at Yavapai Machine & Auto Parts, above, and the launderette on Gurley, below.

The ultimate in gas station recycling, though, is certainly the nostalgia market. I have a neighbor whose old car collectibles include a gas pump. Not to mention this pair of pumps on display at the Goodwin Street Pharmacy.

10 comments:

JesseL said...

Yet again wonderful pictures. Thank You.

I believe that the Yavapai Machine location used to be a car dealership, rather than a gas station. If you watch 'The Gumball Rally' closely, I think there's a scene where a car crashes through said dealership (along with lots of other shots of Prescott circa 1976).

Catalyst said...

Very interesting, GJ. Your eye is obviously much sharper than mine.

sheoflittlebrain said...

Wow! There sure were a lot of those little gas stations..almost one on every corner, at least one at every intersection. It makes me think of all the little grocery stores dotted about town. Mom and Pop businesses...it was nice:)

smilnsigh said...

If the Goodwin Street Pharmacy has such "oldies" on display, I bet it, itself, would be a great photo op. :-)

Mari-Nanci

Granny J said...

jessel -- thanks for the info; I'll take a look & I bet other local folks will, as well.

Cat-A -- would you email me a link to your post about Skull Valley? I tried & couldn't come up with the right words!

brain -- I regularly travel down Lincoln Ave. and can recognize what were probably little neighborhood grocers. I recall one from my childhood in Jax Florida that was run by a Greek family. We used it only in emergencies, since Mom bought most of her stuff from the A&P. Cheaper, you know.

SnS -- I've taken advantage of several photo ops at the Goodwin Street Pharmacy, which has my prescriptions. To see some of John Phillips' goodies, plug in the pharmacy name above into the search box at the top of my blog. He's got a wonderful collection of old medicines, balms & remedies.

Steve said...

Enjoyed the post. I wish they would recycle the prices. That'll be the day.

Granny J said...

steve -- that'll be the day, indeed!

Lucy said...

Aren't those last two pumps lovely?
They look like a happily married old couple!

Granny J said...

lucy -- not only that, but they are smiling upon the new-fangled old-fashioned soda fountain!

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