Back in 2005, I Tried and Succeeded in Saving a Pure Oil Station here in Washington NC

Written and posted on back in 2005, I heard the Presbyterian Church was planning to tear down our beautiful vintage iconic Pure Oil Gas Station and something just went *bing* in my head and I had to stop them. So here it is, in its entirety, the post from the past. Names and contact info changed since 2005, small town politics, actually many names are the same, it’s what position they currently hold that’s different.


Posted on Saturday 8 October 2005

Washington NC has a marvelous Pure Oil Station, right downtown in front of the post office. [photo soon, we’re drowning today, got this whole storm thing going on, 6+ inches of rain…]  It’s in fantastic condition. According to my sources (meaning — here’s what my neighbor told me) the “ladies” of the Presbyterian Church have first right of refusal for the property and as soon as they can get their hands on it, they’ll tear it down and make another parking lot. The station would make such a unique footprint in Washington if someone would save it and turn it into a restaurant, coffee shop… something. Rumor has it the owner was offered $65,000 to “retire”.


All I know is — the building is a classic. Fully intact, even the front bay window.


Washington NC contact information:

Bobby E. Roberson
Office Phone: (252) 975-9317
Fax: (252) 946-1965

John Rodman, AICP
Planning Administrator
Office Phone: (252) 975-9384
Fax: (252) 946-1965

Cynthia S. Bennett
Administrative Support
Office Phone: (252) 975-9383
Fax: (252) 946-1965

Contact by Mail:
City of Washington
Department of Planning & Development
P.O. Box 1988
Washington, NC 27889
(with “Attention To:” appropriate section or individual)

A Beginner’s List of Preservation — Petroleum Style. As time permits, I’ll add more links. This is just a quick page, thrown up on a Saturday morning. No, I didn’t really throw up — silly — I feel just fine. Please, preserve our Pure Oil Station, or I will most certainly engage in reverse peristalsis.

Harwell, GA Pure Oil Station. Scroll down about 2/3rds of the page to see it. It’s on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Vintage Gas Station online album

Lyons Gas Station, Newark, NY — soon to be a tourism office.

Tangletown Gardens, Minneapolis, MN. Garden center.

Pure Station, Summit Co., OH, National Park Service restoration. MD Garage – restored by National Park Service as a historic part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Rec. Area.

Fuel Pizza, Charlotte, NC — Six restaurants in Charlotte, NC. Please, Fuel Pizza people, come and buy the Washington station. You know you want to expand into the eastern part of the state!

Dish, a 1950s gas station converted into a restaurant in Atlanta, GA.

Pure Oil Station, Cape Charles, VA — this one’s for sale.

Copeland Service Station, Milwaulkee, Wisconsin — Restored and converted to Sherman Perk, a coffee shop. To make his plan feasible, he put together a creative package of grants and income tax credits. From the city he received a site assessment grant, a facade improvement grant and a retail start-up grant. From the state Department of Commerce he obtained a brownfield cleanup grant. He also received preservation tax credits which allow him to deduct 25 percent of the project cost from his state and federal income taxes.

Shell Station, Winston-Salem, NC — The “Shell Station,” located in Winston-Salem, N.C., is the last of 8 that were built in Winston by the Quality Oil Company in the late 1930s. Preservation North Carolina is the organization that restored it – saving it from destruction – and turned it into its Winston-Salem Regional Office. It is now fully operational and its staff, headed by Kirk Carrison, works toward preserving properties in the western piedmont and mountain regions of the state. More information can be obtained by visiting the Preservation North Carolina website at

National Historic Route 66

Pure Oil Gas stations (looks familiar, eh?)

The Big Pump, King City, Missouri — The Big Pump is now located in King City, MO on property owned by the Tri-County Historical & Museum Society of King City, MO., Inc. Their address is 508 N. Grand Ave., & Jct. Hwy 169, King City, MO 64463. The museum is open from Decoration Day through the month of September on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and on holidays. The Big Pump is outside so one can see it anytime.

1 Comment for ‘Save the Station’

  1. Helen Losse
    10/8/2005 | 11:00 am

    Anyone is welcome to use any part of what I said to the Director and Planning Administrator, which is

    Why not give Washington what two of North Carolina’s larger cities already have? An almost intact Shell Station preserved and showcased as a local landmark. These building are a glimpse of history, too much of which is already going by the wayside.
    Shell Stations in good repair are not found everywhere. This is a unique opportunity to create something special. Please do not allow this building to become the rubble before an expanding parking lot.


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