Parkway to move historic Center City Gulf Station to Fairmount Park
PHILADELPHIA - Quite the sight in Center City Wednesday night as the Parkway Corporation prepares to move an historic Gulf Station to Fairmount Park.
The antique gas station has been sitting on the corner of 20th and Arch streets for almost 95 years. Residents came out to say goodbye to a building that some got to know and appreciate.
"I've always liked having it in the neighborhood. Such a strange item unless you really kind of tracked it down, you really didn't know what it was," said Jay Meadway, who lives nearby.
The old filling station is a historically protected building and since it is on the site where the Parkway Corporation is building a new office for Chubb Insurance, it’s being relocated near the Sedgley Porter House in Fairmount Park.
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Parkway CEO Rob Zuritsky says it will cost over $1 million to move the piece of history—slowly and carefully—to its new home just two miles away.
"This is the first time we've ever been involved with anything like this," said Zuritsky. "The brisk speed of moving one mile an hour. Somebody joked to me, ‘What kind of gas mileage does a gas station get?’"
Only two other historic buildings have been relocated in the area over the years, according to Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Paul Steinke.
"It's not unheard of, but it's rare," said Steinke. "It’s picturesque. It's fun to look at. It's fun to think about the world. It was built in with model T's. It's a world that's kind of vanished and people are fascinated by that."
Not only will the old Gulf Station be getting a new home, but it will also be getting new life. The Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition will be using it for meetings and office space.