6865 W Hickory Rd
Hickory Corners, MI 49060
The Gilmore Car Museum’s annual Winter Lecture Series is highly anticipated every year! Every Sunday afternoon at 3pm January through April visitors can enjoy a different guest presenter speaking on a variety of intriguing topics. Admission to each lecture is just $5/person or FREE with general admission or museum membership card.
Running on Empty: Abandoned Gas Stations in America
Susan Johnston, Photographer
Susan Johnston will cover a brief history of the growth, evolution and demise of gas stations in this country. Times have changed: the number of operating gas stations has declined over 40% in the past 25 years. A significant number of those closed stations remain in place. Although some have been repurposed into retail stores, auto repair shops and other creative uses, many more have been simply abandoned. These gas stations have become America’s twentieth century ruins.
Why haven’t these structures gone the way of the old-fashioned movie houses or the corner drug store? In large part, current law and government regulations have kept these properties intact. Old gas stations often have gas contaminated ground that requires special treatment before the land can be sold or repurposed. Tax incentives to clean up the land have expired, giving land owners little encouragement to clear the land.
Susan will discuss the changing role of the “filling” station in American life from a single pump operation to a multi-pump/food mart service station and she will share beautiful photography – include examples from her featured collection displayed inside the Museum’s Shell Station – featuring dozens of examples of existing empty gas stations located around the country as well as some interesting examples of re-purposed stations. The presentation will conclude with Susan’s thoughts on the future of fueling stations for the 21st century automobile.