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Streamline Moderne

By the mid-1930s, the nation was in the grip of the Depression. To promote a sense of optimism for the future, manufacturers and designers heavily employed the Streamline Moderne, or Depression Moderne, style. Based upon the American love for the automobile and speed, the Streamline Moderne style incorporated smooth surfaces, rounded corners, and sleek lines. The design was enhanced with porcelain enamel walls and large plate glass windows. The Streamline Moderne gas station was originally designed as a one-story box. Eventually, the entrance bays were extended above the first story, like a tower, or raised out from the front façade. This style lasted through WWII into the early 1950s, at which time it was phased out for more modern designs.

The image below is an example of a Streamline Moderne simple box station.

Streamline Moderne Station

Streamline Moderne Station: Image courtesy of John Jakle, Gas Station in America, 1994.

The image below is an example of a Streamline Moderne station with an enhanced entry bay.

Streamline Moderne Station

Streamline Moderne Station: Image courtesy of Chester Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile: American Roadside Architecture, 1985.

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