Friday is a Gas: Classical Revival Stations c.1930-?

Mississippi is known for its fondness of columned buildings. Surprisingly that appreciation doesn’t seem to have translated over into the design of Classical Revival service stations. The 2016 TxDOT Field Guide to Gas Stations in Texas  doesn’t specifically have an entry for Classical Revival Style stations, so I’ll take a shot at describing these style station with the following:

  • Symmetrical, ordered design.
  • Usually stucco clad, but examples may exist in terracotta, stone, brick, or with wood cladding.
  • Classical columns or pilasters.
  • Detailed cornice.
  • Arched windows or entryways.
  • Classically inspired molding/trim.

The two stations in a Classical Revival mode that I am familiar with are the Porter Service Station in Bay St. Louis and the Shady Nook Service Station in Jackson.  The MDAH HRI database identifies this Bay St. Louis building as having been built c. 1930 and remodeled into its current appearance c.1945.   Here is how the Old Bay St. Louis Historic District nomination describes the Porter Service Station in Bay St. Louis;

109 Ulman Avenue Bay St. Louis Hancock County Feb. 2009 A. Burke, FEMA from MDAH HRI database accessed 7-22-17

…Station with a flat roof accentuated by a modest parapet projecting cornice, and pilaster dividing the bay. The center triple bay is composed of two, large, fixed lights and a door capped by round-arched light with tracery. First and fourth bays are small, 2/2 double-hung windows.

According to the MDAH HRI database, the Jackson station was built c. 1928 with the Greek Revival detailing being added by architect A. Hays Town in 1933.  Around 1978, this station was converted into the offices for Goodman and Mockbee Architects.

944 Poplar Blvd. Jackson Hinds County March, 2012. David Preziosi, MHT from MDAH HRI database accessed 7-22-17

Here is what the Belhaven Historic District nomination has to say about the Poplar Boulevard service station turned office building.

The building has cross front facing gable roof porticoes supported by Greek Doric columns. The columns support an entablature below the pediment of the gable. A portion of each portico has been filled in with glass. There is a curved wall which connects the cross gable porticoes. The main portico facing the street has an arched wall entry.

There are recent classical revival stations that have been *ahem* featured on MissPres.  Is this an emerging trend across Mississippi as a sign of what’s to come, or do we still like our gas stations to be contemporary in design?

Do you have a favorite Classical Revival service station in Mississippi? Do you know of a historic one still providing service? What do you think of the description of Classical Revival stations I gave above?  What descriptive point might you add?


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



Categories: Bay St. Louis, Building Types, Historic Preservation, Jackson

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