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Other Architectural Styles

In addition to the classical and period revival styles, other architectural styles were also applied to gasoline stations during the height of their popularity.  These styles include Streamline Moderne, Art Deco, and the more recent Ranch form.  While these stations were constructed later than the previous forms and they continue to be used, many have been renovated over the years to reflect changing styles.

Roadside Highlight:   Van Beek Filling Station, Allenton

The Van Beek Filling Station (determined eligible for the National Register in February 1999) displayed elements of the Art Deco style, popular in Wisconsin between 1925 and 1945.  It was located at 344 Main Street (STH 33) in Allenton.  Edgar Van Beek constructed the station c.1940 on the former site of a blacksmith shop.  Although it was a relatively small station, it handled Standard Oil gasoline sales and automotive repairs.

The Van Beek Filling Station,
as it appeared in 2002.
Mead & Hunt photograph.
The station displayed elements of the Art Deco style and features used by the Standard Oil Company for stations built during this period.  The front facade was clad in rough-cut stone laid in an irregular pattern and featured rough-cut stone pilasters embellished with brick inlay.  A ceramic tile drip edge was located along the roof line.  The service entrance, front entrance, and front window were embellished with brick lintels and concrete sills.  The sides of the building were clad in brick and the rear was concrete block.  A concrete-block addition was located at the northeast corner, constructed c.1991 when the building was converted into a saw and cycle shop.  The Art Deco influence could be seen in the polychromatic color scheme, the pilasters with brick details accenting the verticality of the structure, and the building's sharp corners and angles.  The ceramic tile edges and the small scale were typical of Standard Oil stations constructed during this period.  The men's room was accessible from the interior and the women's restroom was accessible from the exterior, typical of the gas stations of this period.

This building was removed in 2002 as part of a Wisconsin Department of Transportation Highway project.

Interested in learning more about Wisconsin gas stations? Check out the new Wisconsin Public Television program that looks at vintage gas stations as icons of architecture, economics and pop culture. Fill'er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations is a collaborative effort of the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Public Television.
And watch for the Fill 'er Up Companion Book  from WHS Press by Jim Draeger and Mark Speltz. This book visits 60 Wisconsin gas stations still standing today and will be available in 2008.
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