I think that part of my interest in repurposed gasoline stations is that they represent both a change and a constant in society. Not too long ago they were service stations, places that not only sold gasoline, but also repaired your car, sold tires and batteries and even supplied maps for your trip at no charge. The station owner’s name was above the office door, though the big sign on the corner said Gulf or Esso, it was his business.
Today, with a few exceptions, we pump are own gas. If we interact with someone at a gas station it is to buy drinks, snacks, cigarettes or lottery tickets. Many of those former service stations provide the same services as before, they just don’t sell gas. Others have become beer stores, bail bondman and hair salons. They represent another aspect of the disappearing, unfranchised landscape.
A little while after I started collecting these recycled gas stations, I was introduced to Edward Ruschas’s Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations, and Jeff Brouws’ homage, Twenty-Six Abandon gasoline Stations. These repurposed gasoline stations seem to be a logical and relevant extension of those earlier observations.