I was in Monticello (Mississippi) a while back when a handsome former service station caught my eye. It is unmistakable as a Texaco station built in that fuel company’s “Matawan” style, so named after the site of the first location of this design in Matawan, New Jersey (click here to see a period image). According to an archived version of the Texaco.com station history page, Texaco…
“adopted the Matawan design, which was appropriate for both residential and commercial areas. It featured green [colored] roofs, fieldstone walls, large display windows and side-entrance lubrication bays.”
The Matawan, New Jersey station was built in 1964. The design effort was a partnership of Texaco engineers such as James Robert Saunders and the industrial design firm of Peter Muller-Munk Associates. In an ideal site such as the location of the Monticello station the vehicle bays were accessed on the side. In restricted, or sometimes older remodeled stations the vehicle bays were accessed from the front. An example of this is a former Texaco Station in Jackson. The service bay openings of the Jackson former Texaco were filled in around 2005 when the station was converted to a Little Caesars Pizza, but that roof line creates the unmistakable appearance of a Texaco branded station. I guess creating an unmistakeable appearance is what Texaco wanted.
These are the only two examples in Mississippi that I am aware of off the top of my head. As I’ve seen these stations all across the USA, surely there are others tucked away in parts of Mississippi? Do you have a “Matawan” Texaco Station in your neck of the woods?
As a side note while researching the Matawan stations I came across a neat document entitled A Field Guide to Gas Stations in Texas. This field guide was prepared by the Texas Department of Transportation, Environmental Affairs Division, Historical Studies Branch. On page 100 of the PDF you can read the brief entry for the Matawan style Texaco Stations. If MDOT is interested in having a similar document compiled, I am happy to render my services. :)