Tag: petroliana

The Decaying Standard Oil Station of Vienna, Illinois

The Decaying Standard Oil Station of Vienna, Illinois

While riding from Metropolis towards Springfield, Illinois I passed through the town of Vienna. It was a place I’d never heard of before. As I slowed approaching the stop sign at IL-146, to my right was the most beautiful ghost. A Standard Oil station.

Seeing it immediately made me wish I could have experienced it in its former glory. How could something so lovely fall into such a state? I’m sure it is a case of monies best spent elsewhere. Trying to survive will always trump everything else.

Even so – part of me wishes that a preservation group could take this beautiful skeleton and return it to its original splendor. Can’t you imagine driving over the hose near the pumps and hearing the *ding-ding* of the bell? I suppose anyone younger than me might not even get that reference.

Yesterday, I learned a new word.

anemoian. nostalgia for a time you’ve never known.

It’s definition came from the depressingly named, Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. But I happened to read it while perusing the much less heartachingly titled Route 66 News.

Some articles about the Vienna Standard Oil Station:

Then and Now: Brick’s Gulf Gas and Service Station

Then and Now: Brick’s Gulf Gas and Service Station

There is just something that I love about old gas stations and gas pumps. There was often a stylish craftsmanship that we generally don’t see in the new all business, efficient stations of today. Beautiful looking gasoline pumps, decorative building elements, a person manning the station who does more than grunt at you when he gives you change at the register – perfect examples of they don’t make ’em like that anymore.

In many ways I suppose the gas station symbolizes being on the go and traveling. Perhaps that is part of what fuels my interest. If we’re filling up we’re going somewhere!

Brick’s Gulf Gas & Service Station – Then and Now

Then: Brick’s Gulf Gas Station – 1948
582 Sixth Avenue – West 17th Street – New York

So many beautiful vintage elements in this photo. From the construction of the station itself, to the vintage Gulf sign, to the fading ghost ads on the surrounding buildings. It’s hard to believe that this is the same 6th avenue of today.

Brick's Gulf Gas Station Sixth Avenue Manhattan 1948
Image courtesy: NY Public Library

Now: Sixth Avenue & West 17th Street – August 2010

6th Avenue and W 17th Street Today

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