Clark-Maple Gas Station

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  • Clark-Maple Gas Station, night view with neon lighting Clark-Maple Gas Station, night view with neon lighting
  • Clark-Maple Gas Station, exterior view, (HB photo, n.d.) Clark-Maple Gas Station, exterior view, (HB photo, n.d.)
  • Clark-Maple Gas Station plan Clark-Maple Gas Station plan
  • View of custom-designed greasing and washing equipment as a divider wall between two greasing stations. (HB photo) View of custom-designed greasing and washing equipment as a divider wall between two greasing stations. (HB photo)

Gas stations from the 1930s were often highly individualized and were as much a reflection of the owner's taste as they were a device to attract the attention of passing motorists. Goldberg was challenged then to not only creating an eye-catching design, but had to do it on fourteen feet of fill that would not support a large foundation. The result was an captivating building that employed a mast hung roof--a technique inspired by Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House and Holabird and Root's Travel and Transport Building for the 1933 Century of Progress world's fair.

The station caught not only the attention of motorists but also of the critics. Shortly after its completion, it was described in an article in Architectural Forum: "Costs were held to $10,000 by hanging the rough construction by cables from a pair if steel masts. Foundations were thus reduced to two footings and a platform for the heating plant. Commercial appeal was created by adding transparent walls which expose the design job of the interior of the two washing-greasing rooms. Proof of this design appeal is the fact that within two weeks after the station's opening gasoline sales had exceeded the volume at which the station owner had agreed to pay the land owner a ‘royalty' per gallon in addition to his rental. Comments architect Goldberg on his clients quick success, ‘It has shown that even Standard Oil could underestimate... what a new building like this could do for one of its gasoline dealers.'"

His client, Frank Katzin, subsequently commissioned Goldberg to design a house for him on the south side. The gas station has been since demolished.