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House with Bays

House with bays, service station, located on U.S. 60 in Frankfort. By the mid-1930s, the gasoline station had become more than a place to refuel one’s car.  Due to economic pressures brought on by the Great Depression, station owners began augmenting their gasoline sales with service revenues.  Automobiles could now be washed and lubricated at the gas station.  Initially, washing and lubricating were done outdoors.  A large grease pit was dug out to allow for lubrication from underneath the car and a level concrete surface was supplied for washing.  Apparently, this arrangement was not satisfactory, as station owners began to add lubricating and washing bays to their house-type stations. Plan of a small service station with a lubritorium service bay, from Don Graf's Data Sheets (1944), a standard reference book for architects and engineers. This house with bays service station, located on U.S. 60 in Frankfort, is an example of a station that made this transition in the late 1930s.  At least two service bays were added on to the main building to provide washing, lubricating, and other repair services.  Interestingly, this station is decorated much like a central Kentucky horse barn.  The steeply pitched roof, combined with the rooftop cupola, gives the impression of a structure dedicated to thoroughbred horses.


Last Updated 3/17/2008