Starbucks/Gilmore Gas Station

California architecture styles rapidly changed during the golden age of the automobile. Art Deco and Moderne Streamlined style gas stations arrived as a representation of modern, sleek, and industrial design. The Starbucks at 859 N. Highland Avenue was built in 1935 as a Red Lion gas station. The building features iconic details characteristic of Art Moderne architecture including cantilevered canopies, glass panels, a flat roof, and geometric lines. By the late 20th century, many historic gas stations like this had been abandoned. It is only recently that their merit is being recognized and their potential for innovative re-use projects being envisioned.

Starbucks Company assembled a team to complete a comprehensive rehabilitation of the gas station. Prior to being rehabilitated, the station had been vacant for 15 years. The sheet metal had deteriorated over time and the foundation and the lack of an adequate building foundation was causing structural issues. To top this damage off, a truck had crashed into the building causing the cantilevered canopies to sag.

Spectra was pleased to work with the design team to restore the gas station to its original glory. Along with repairing and restoring the copper roof, Spectra performed restoration work on the cantilevered metal canopies. The canopies were removed for structural re-framing, stored, reinstalled and repaired. The metal finishes were restored to their original condition. The building is now a lively location for Starbucks coffee and features a drive through for cars, a walk up window, and outdoor seating.

Scope of Work

Decorative Metal • Materials Restoration • Restoration Painting & Coatings • Self-Perform • Waterproofing/Roofing


California Preservation Foundation 2018 • Los Angeles Conservancy 2018

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