Thursday, August 2, 2012

Before it is gone . . .

Before it is gone . . .

I posted this picture a while ago as part of my 125th street extravaganza.  This period picture looks like it was taken not long after opening.  This is just next to the Riverside Drive Viaduct on what we call incorrectly 125th street.  Ultimately the service station was turned into a car wash.  The station and the car wash fall within the area that Columbia University feels it need to expand into.  

This is the service station as it has look for years.  The car wash stopped operating a few years ago but gas was being sold there up until a few weeks ago.  Above the “menu” the protest banner reads “Dear Columbia: No Forced Displacement”.  The banner is protesting the eviction of the businesses that have called Manhattanville home for years. 

So farewell once upon a time art decoesque service station.  Farewell slightly overpriced gas station and not so hot car wash.  I will miss you, you relic, you reminder of another time when even Manhattan had beautiful gas stations.


  1. Nice post, Gary. I was privy to some of the zoning discussions between with the University's outside counsel about the necessity and design of the expansion plan. Needless to say, they didn't give an inch.

    1. Thank you. I think it was architectural critic Montgomery Schuyler who said something along the lines of "if you took someone from the upper westside and sent them 20 years into the future, he would not recognize his neighborhood", something like that. He was also talking about his own time, the late 19th century. If Montgomery Schuyler were writing about now, the time one would be sent to an unrecognizable future would be much shorter, say 5 years.