Monday, September 21, 2009

The Ever Changing Look


I find it interesting how architecture has changed during my lifetime. When I was a lad supermarkets looked like square boxes. Locally you can see the old architecture if you go to the 12 Street Grocery in Seaside, Select in Warrenton or Hunt’s Market in Svensen. Then in the 60s they took on a larger Quonset Hut look with rounded roofs like massive culverts. Most example of these are gone like the old Safeway in Seaside, but one still can be seen at Astoria Ford. The building to the North of the dealership was a Sentry Market. Now supermarkets are designed to look like Big Box stores with boat building shop look on the exterior.

When I was a lad banks were solid buildings that were built with massive concrete blocks with stone carved pillars. They looked secure like a prison for money. Then in the 60s banks took on a Mod look like they were right out of the Jetson’s. There was a lot of glass with lots of open space inside. Now banks are designed to look like country club homes.

When I was a lad gas stations were called service stations. Early stations looked like converted livery stables. Then they were small rounded corner buildings that had had one or two garage bays, two rest rooms and a windowed office with a desk. They had mechanical soda machines where a kid could buy a cold bottle of orange soda for a dime. They offered free air for your tires and free road maps. In the 60 they got larger and boxier with four or more bays and they started charging for air and maps. Now they are convenience stores and look like the grocery stores in the 50.

It’s interesting how I can be taken back to my childhood when I drive by an old gas station or enter an old bank, or grocery store. All the smells and the feelings of when I was five years old come back to mind in a vivid way. They were good old days.

6 Comments:

Blogger darev2005 said...

And what is the ratio of gas stations that still have service bays to small grocery stores that have gas pumps? There isn't a single gas station/mechanic combo anywhere within fifty miles of this place anymore. It's all Caseys and 7-11's and stuff. If you need serviced, you have to go to a mechanic. Kind of sad, actually. I wonder what caused the change?

5:51 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I wish they were still called service stations - and actually served.

6:26 AM  
Blogger weese said...

my mother will tell me that I was the last generation (which would include you as well) to really have that good old stuff. she feels its all lost now.
i don't want to agree with her..because she is my mother. but i think...i do.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

oh...the smell of old schools. There's a McMenamins in an old school in Portland and I swear it still smells like an old school...

2:56 PM  
Blogger richpix said...

Get ready to see more of the good old days disappear:
Wal-Mart Coming to Warrenton

3:44 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, I can think of only two in our county. The Chevron and the Gull in Seaside.

Beth, at least here in Oregon we don't get to pump our own fuel. There are attendants.

Weese, We come from a time before plastic. So sad that everything is cheap crap these days.

Rich, yes it's pretty much a done deal. There's no sense in trying to keep it out, it will be easier to try to get people not to shop there. But most don't care about the economic disaster this will cause for local business that have already been hit hard by Costco, Fred Meyer and Home Depot.
Teri, when did you live in Portland?

5:50 AM  

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