On Thursday, June 27, the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County (PSABC) will host a lecture by executive director Jack Thomson, following a brief annual meeting update. The lecture, Historic Automobile Service Stations, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church. “Historic service stations just happen to be a personal interest of mine that also fits well in our education programming at PSABC,” says Thomson. “We love to bring the story of various historic places and building types to the public.”
Thomson will discuss and have images of a number of historic service stations, both ones with new life and others that were demolished. Some popular Asheville icons that used to be service stations include Mellow Mushroom and Spicer Greene Jewelers downtown, as well as Gan Shan Station on Charlotte Street.
Thomson says that surviving service stations are good examples of a preservation tool known as adaptive reuse. “Adaptive reuse is a technique that takes a building once designed for a specific purpose and envisions a new use for it, leveraging the power of authenticity and sense of place while keeping valuable building materials out of the landfill,” he says. “The greenest building is the one already built.”