Good Gulf #09095

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The Story

This Gulf gas station is an all-original rarity done up in art deco polychrome tile with all the colorful trimmings. It was built in 1933 and stood as a showcase for Gulf gasoline along the Lincoln Highway. Today, that road is known as US Route 30. Back in the day, it was a major east-west thoroughfare before the day of four-lane interstates like the Pennsylvania Turnpike that runs close to this spot. In spite of its age, Dunkle’s service station is still open every day pumping gas and doing repairs along the main drag in small-town Bedford, PA. It is always a small but enjoyable throw-back delight to see.

There are a few remaining Gulf gas station sisters of the same vintage scattered through nearby states, but they have been stripped of the visual art deco goodies or simply painted over in white or gray. By comparison to this one, those gas stations stand naked and completely un-entertaining as architecture. Unfortunately, they lack any authentic style after having the original design totally neutralized. None I have seen still retain the original unaltered art deco beauty and impact of this one. This is true gasoline retailing in style and no modern convenience store comes close to this, the real deal.

Unfortunately, the current pumps used at this station are roughly 1970s vintage and don’t match this vintage art deco building at all. It can be quite a clash to see. Time marches on nonetheless, and I still say we’re very fortunate to have the original station building to enjoy today.

Today, the Lincoln Highway isn’t one of the main transportation routes across Pennsylvania and modern Rt 30 has since been relocated just outside of town. This beautiful Gulf gas station still stands as a great piece of roadside Americana and represents all the unique marketing ways that were used to get attention from motorists.

Location: Bedford, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story ©Andrew Dierks

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