Historic Structures

Hy-Red Gulf Gasoline Station, Greentown Indiana

Date added: June 12, 2022 Categories: Indiana Retail Roadside Attraction

The Hy-Red Gasoline Station is one of a vanishing breed of roadside architecture. In its restored state, it is an excellent early example of this type of facility, the only such gas station surviving in Greentown, and one of few in the state.

The Mid-Western Petroleum Corporation of Indianapolis leased the property and had the building constructed in 1930. The station opened in 1931 with Lavon Ayers as proprietor. In about 1939 the brand changed to Gulf, and it remained a Gulf station until about 1958. The station then became one of the Comer Oil Company's group of independents, with the Silver Edge brand name. The brand later changed to Deep Rock, a Kerr-Magee product.

In 1965 the station became an antique shop, followed by a coffee shop, two pizza shops, a garden nursery, and finally a Hickory Farms cheese shop. The building was empty for five or six years before being purchased and restored.

Building Description

The Hy-Red Gulf Filling Station is made up-of two main sections. Most prominent is the canopy, or porte-cochere, with its steeply pitched roof, which faces north on the highway. Attached at the rear of the canopy is a small one-story brick building. Both structures utilize multi-colored beige and brown glazed brick, which was manufactured by the Meritt Brick Company of Illinois.

The canopy is supported on four square brick pillars, with every fifth course of brick recessed. Resting on the pillars is a simple fascia, with decorative panels over each pillar. The soffits have porcelain electric light fixtures. The eye-catching, bell-cast, pyramidal roof is shingled.

The two rear pillars are engaged to the one-story structure. Between them the main entrance is sheltered by the canopy, and features a single-leaf glazed door with a transom. Flanking the door are fixed-sash windows, with 12 lights each. Heads for the door and windows are formed by a header course, then a projecting stretcher course, and another header course. An additional header course underscores the joint with the canopy ceiling.

The rear, or south, facade, has three small, six-light windows, and a frieze band like that just described, but no cornice. A single brick chimney is centered toward the back end of the building.

Before restoration, the building was coated with several layers of paint. The paint was removed, the trim restored and painted. Much of the original electrical wiring and copper, brass, and porcelain fixtures were intact and in good condition.

Inside the building were two restrooms; one had an outside entrance and is now the location of the furnace. Inside walls have been repaired or replaced; the tin ceiling and hardwood floor are not original. The transom window above the door is also a replacement.

Gasoline pumps in the front are from the 1930s, but are not original to the building.