Friday, November 30, 2012

Vintage Amoco service station restored and awarded PHOTOS

The 65-year old Carlin Amoco gas station across the street from Berglund Chevrolet on Williamson Road came alive last Thursday afternoon at ribbon cutting witnessed by scores of memory seekers. When built the service station was modern for its time.

Berglund CEO Bruce Farrell and his son and President William Farrell, City officials, Councilman Sherman Lea, Peter Lewis, Wendy Jones Executive Director of the Williamson Road Business Association Jones and Carlin family members – the original owners of the gas station participated in the celebration.

William Farrell said he was asked by people why they wanted to renovate the old gas station that they had owned for years. “We really wanted to do something to help preserve the automotive history for Williamson Road … and give Williamson Road a facelift,” he said. The excitement to get the project done picked up when after scraping off  paint from glass above the door they discovered the green neon was still burning. That’s when they all agreed, “we’ve got to get this thing done.”

Among the many interested citizens was Senator Ralph Smith who worked at the Amoco station with his friend Frank Giannitti between July 1965 and April 1966. He wore his original blue jacket with the American Oil emblem on the left and a patch with his name “Ralph” on the right side. He repaired cars at the station while his friend pumped gas. Later Sen. Smith moved up the street and ran his own service station for 13 years. “This project is close to my heart,” said Smith.

The Williamson Road Carlin’s Amoco across from Berglund Chevrolet was founded in 1947 and was restored by Todd Band, a 25-year employee of Berglund Automotive Group. The historic building won the annual Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation award Thursday. It complements Berglund’s commitment to preserving the automobile history and culture on Williamson Road as well as their participation in special events that include antique car shows and the annual Star City Motor Madness Cruise Night.

Peter Lewis, Founder & President, Apple Ridge Farm unveiled and presented two 60-year old antique posters to Bruce Farrell, his family and the Berglund Automotive Group from the children, staff and board members of Apple Ridge Farm.

Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation President Alison Blanton said the project was an example of how the city and private industry can work together. Historic tax  credits, an enterprise grant, Toddy Bandy and the Ferrell’s is what made the project possible said  Blanton. She encouraged others to take on renovation of the many other old gas stations around the city.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Local Events

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