Monday, December 20, 2010

JNS BLOG PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: A Look Inside The Doomed "Petro Stop" Gas Station On West Broadway (Some Mildly Disturbing Content, Be Warned)

Photos and blog post by John Hoff

The guys in charge of the demolition of Petro Stop on West Broadway were tolerant of my efforts to record history today, snapping final images of the little structure which--I was told--may be demolished tomorrow.

Or, one of the workmen shrugged, maybe the next day.

"Die Another Day" has become the theme of this building, but the end is clearly near. As this little eyesore stood year after year, did you ever wonder what was inside? Maybe a corpse in 1970s attire? (Fade in suitable 1970s music)

In the service of history and the readers of Johnny Northside Dot Com, I went "beyond the plywood door" and snapped these photos...

It's a very small space inside. As you stand just inside the front door and look to the right, you see the counter. Those magazines piled in the foreground are, um, smut. So you've got this empty little structure which stood vacant and neglected for years but there just happens to be a stash of smut mags inside? Ewwww.
Standing inside the front door, looking forward toward the rest room.
One of the gas price numbers on the floor, near an empty beer bottle.
A poster inside the structure advertises a 1997 Polaris Indy 500 & Trailer as a grand prize. My internet research leads me to believe dollar-a-gallon gas may have been available in late 1996 or early 1997, though that would have been a good price since it probably averaged $1.20. I know some folks have assumed the infamous dollar-a-gallon price on the Petro Stop marquee is from the 1970s but poking around leads me to conclude the Petro Stop may have been open as late as 1996 or 1997. Does anybody know? Feel free to comment, below.
Part of an old mop bucket. Note the color doesn't match the other half of the mop bucket visible in the photo, above, which shows the rest room.
Part of the old towel dispenser.

Oh, wait, excuse me. Note spelling.

"Towl" dispenser.

I had a first grade teacher who was convinced "cutesy product spellings" only serve to confuse children and foster illiteracy. This seems a good time to pointedly mention her. God bless you, Mrs. Lillemoen.
Some financial records are laying around inside near a black file cabinet, including these blank checks.
The by-now-infamous Petro Stop smut stash.

No, I didn't look to see if they were "used."
Here's the inside of the door, conveniently labeled. This concludes our tour, but please keep your hands inside the vehicle until the ride has COMPLETELY STOPPED.
Note the small forest of trees which has been devastated. And for what? More high-density housing? I sure hope this housing is well managed. If it comes at the expense of a single mature tree, for me it already feels like too high a price.
On the other side of West Broadway, a city crew digs out the utilities. That building in the background is Handy Stop, not Petro Stop, so don't be confused. Of course, if I had a choice of seeing the empt Petro Stop demolished, or Handy Stop, I'd probably choose the Handy Stop considering the no-accounts which constantly hang out in the parking lot and do the owners appear to give a damn? Not in my experience. And now there will be high-density housing right across the street? I can see the nightmare beginning.
That's a very tall man at the bottom of this hole, digging out the utilities. You can just barely see his safety vest.

What a tough job on a snowy day!

This concludes our photo tour. And so the revitalization of West Broadway continues.


Anonymous said...

Wow, a bunch of crap inside a building about to be demolished.
What a grand "exclusive".
Especially the blue mop bucket with the miss-matched orange mop wringer.
Darn fine journalism (that was the sarcasm font in case you didn't get that).

Johnny Northside! said...

I'm so glad to see you have adopted the use of the phrase "sarcasm font," a practice promoted by this blog.

That was NOT the sarcasm font. That was the cheerful, tolerant, let's all have a substantive discussion font.