It isn't every day that a 70-year-old gas station is the centerpiece of a park, but that's just what happened in Glendale, Calif.
On Saturday, the Los Angeles suburb will celebrate the grand opening of a new "mini-park," a 12,500-square-foot green space around a restored streamline moderne gas station built in 1936.
"It's been a long, long process," says Michael Teahan, president of Adams Hill Homeowners' Association, which fought to save the former Richfield Oil Co. Station.
The city acquired the 120-square-foot building almost a decade ago through eminent domain, planning to restore it for the park. Nearby business owners derailed those plans three years ago, calling for the demolition of the gas station to create more parking spaces. But a neighborhood group opposed the plan with a petition and a crowd at city council meetings.
"They realized they were up against a huge force, and they decided to go ahead and keep the gas station," Teahan says. "When we rose up, we established a reputation for being very active and very influential. We've done a lot of work, and it's paid off."