The gas station is a dying art, one that helped shape the course of American travel over the course of the last century. Most historic gas stations are shells (pun not intended) of their former glory, reminding passers by and nostalgic souls of a bygone era.
Many old gas stations have ended up on the National Register of Historic Places, but most of those solely act as landmarks and aren’t operational.
At these seven service stations however, preservation means more than a commemorative sign. They’ve been repurposed as restaurants or museums or even still offer their original services. Here, visitors have an opportunity to interact with former roadside staples.
1. R. W. Lindholm Service Station, St. Louis, Mo. 2. Diesel, Atlanta, Ga. 3. Marfa Contemporary, Marfa, Texas. 4. Gilmore Gas Station Starbucks, Los Angeles, Calif. 5. The Olio St. Louis, St. Louis, Mo. 6. H.P. Sears Oil Museum, Rome, N.Y. 7. Billy Carter Museum, Plains, Ga.
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Food’s Assistant Editor. She can usually be found arguing about mayonnaise on Twitter.
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Built in 1958, the R. W. Lindholm Service Station is a realization of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City, a vision he conceptualized in the early 1930s. The filling station has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places and remains operational today.
Photo: Mike Procario/Flickr
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Diesel, Atlanta's dive bar famous for burgers, a huge beer selection and The Walking Dead viewing parties, originated as a Pure Oil filling station.
Photo: Sarra Sedghi
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Housed in a former Gulf Oil station, the Marfa Contemporary gallery revives a relic while honoring West Texas' oil-rich landscape. The Contemporary hosts artists in residence and houses local restaurant The Pizza Foundation in its former garage.
Photo: Nan Palmero/Flickr
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During the 1930s, Gilmore Oil was the West Coast's largest independent oil company. This Los Angeles Gilmore station was reborn as a Starbucks in 2015.
Photo courtesy of Starbucks
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The Olio St. Louis transformed this 1930s Standard Oil filling station into a restaurant and cocktail bar featuring an award-winning wine list. Here, visitors can enjoy a different type of service while cloaked upgraded Art Deco building.
Photo: The Olio St. Louis
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New York entrepreneur Howard P. Sears started selling gasoline in 1919. Today, the Sears service station in his former residence of Rome, N.Y. is memorialized as a museum.
Photo: H.P. Sears Oil Museum
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This Plains, Ga. filling station belonging to the late Billy Carter served as a hangout and hot spot for controversial statements during his brother Jimmy's campaign and presidency. In 2008, it was reinstated as a museum by the Plains Better Hometown Program.
Photo by Steve Markos