Friday is a Gas: Commercial Block Service Stations c.1920-c.1930

former Goyer Service Station. Commercial block station form. Leland, Mississippi. Built 1922.

This week’s Friday is a Gas post is not about a specific brand of station, but rather a specific type of station form. Commercial block type service stations are usually found within towns or cities, often at street corners with an entrance on both sides to accommodate a cross flow of traffic.  Based on the estimated dates of construction on our examples, these may be some of the earliest service stations that have been featured as part of the Friday is a Gas Series.

Commercial block form station. Meridian, Mississippi. Built between 1931 & 1935. Demolished prior to May, 2016.

The 2016 TxDOT Field Guide to Gas Stations in Texas  describes these stations as primarily being of the 1920s and 1930s era, having an inset service/pumping area covering much of ground floor.  The field guide further describes the Commercial Block Stations with the following:

Building owners in urban areas began to incorporate service stations into corner commercial blocks, sometimes adapted to the site and other times designed for the site. Corner commercial block buildings allowed a drive-through area that covered gas pumps, creating a space for marketing and the sale of automotive products, and affording protection during inclement weather.

Commercial block form station. Greenwood, Mississippi. Built 1926, remodeled c.1945.

The field guide describes the stations as One-Part Commercial Block (for a one-story building) and Two-Part Commercial Block (for a two-story building.)  Most of the today’s Mississippi examples are one-part commercial block stations. Across the street from one another in Meridian, Mississippi are two, two-part commercial block stations.  The station on the right has had its first floor infilled.  I am not certain of either buildings’ date of construction, but both likely date to the 1930s.

The example below from Brookhaven, Mississippi is the only example I could locate that appears as an earlier building that was modified to have an inset service/pumping area.  Prior to this modification the building was a garage with curbside pumps.

Commercial Block Station Brookhaven, Mississippi. Building built prior to 1925. Inset service/pumping area modification made prior to 1950.

Do you know of any other one-part commercial block stations in Mississippi?  Or perhaps a two-part commercial block station? If so let us know if the comments below.


Did you enjoy this post on a Mississippi Gas Station? Consider checking out these other “Friday is a Gas” posts.



Categories: Architectural Research, Building Types, Demolition/Abandonment, Greenwood, Historic Preservation, Leland, Lost Mississippi, Meridian

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13 replies

  1. E.L., I’m remembering that Sambo Mockbee’s first office in Jackson was in an old gas station. This was in the late 70s. I don’t remember where it was. Do you, or do others by chance? I wonder if it’s still there.

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  2. I think theres a small one one in Walnut Grove…I’ll try to get you a photo

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  3. Great post! I have always loved these buildings, where ever I found them. I think I have a photo somewhere of the one in Leland, taken on my first trip there.

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  4. I just ran across this article on preserving historic gas stations on the National Park Service site. Check it out: https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs/46-gas-stations.htm

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  5. The first time I ever recognized this kind of gas station was on the Lexington courthouse square, at the northeast corner of Depot Street and Court Square, a c.1910 building altered in the 1930s as a Texaco Service Station by carving out the storefront and the front of the side for drive-through bays.

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    • Wow, an excellent example of an existing structure modified to have an inset service/pumping area. I was just looking at Lexington the other day for gas stations for future posts and completely missed this one. Thanks!

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