Sunday, April 19, 2015

Please stand by for station identification: the vintage Flamingo gas station of the Everglades

 Back in the 1960s...

 ...and the '70s.

 It's now home to a friendly swarm of bees...

 ...and this Florida Tourism Ambassador is just down the road apiece.

You never know where you'll find a great example of mid-century architecture. Take the Everglades National Park, for example. All swamps, great blue herons and mighty alligators, you think? Well, yeah, but they've also got what's left of a 1958 filling station next to the visitors' center in the Flamingo section of the park. And what's cool is they recognized it as something worth keeping, even though it stopped pumping gas back some time ago. It was part of Mission 66, a nationwide program to upgrade the National Park visitor centers that were overflowing with car-driving enthusiasts post World War II. This station was considered ideal for all the roadtrippers who had made it all the way down to the 'glades, and there are pictures of it being used up through the seventies. At some point, the pumps were moved to a nearby marina and the station was then a post office. Not sure exactly how long it remained empty, but in 2012 it was given a makeover and done-up in a luscious shade of Googie pink to offset the beige stonework on its facade. It would be awesome if this place could get the full museum treatment of looking like a real 1950s-60s station, with pumps, rotating sign, triangular flags, and an interior featuring oil cans stacked in a pyramid, maps, a Coke machine and a hose that rang a bell if you ran over it. Oh, and don't forget the guy in the white coveralls, policeman's hat and bow tie, ready to fill 'er up and wash your windshield. Happy motoring!

No comments: