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Johnson’s Corner 1930s Filling Station to be Saved?

Updated – Three months ago Frank Barrett sent in a photo of Johnson’s Corner Filling Station in Longmont, CO. The image was a promotional shot for the Carmony Neon Sign Company.

Frank also sent in the lead photo that he took a couple of weeks ago and added: “While taking my wife out for lunch, I accidentally discovered that the Johnson’s Corner gas station in the April 23, 2015, post still exists! It’s been moved to the Prospect New Town housing and office development just south of Longmont, set on a new concrete foundation and is evidently awaiting restoration.”

Update – Reader Kevin McQuown has brought us up to speed with the situation: “A contractor moved the building to the property ten years ago and spent $300,000 to do so. He has applied to the state several times to get funding to restore it but keeps getting denied. The residents of Prospect New Town apparently do not care about the building’s history at this point and want to have it demolished because no further work has been done.” Can anyone step in and help to save it?

Prospect New Town is a development in the New Urbanism manner. The movement first started in 1993 promotes planned neighborhoods containing a range of housing and jobs. It uses many of the same urban design practices from the late 1800s and early 1900s. After the turn of the century the automobile soon offered mobility and made living outside of the center of a city or town possible.

A search of the news in the Longmont area did not turn up any results about the station. Hopefully, a reader in the area will be to tell us exactly what is in store for the building. You can learn more about Prospect New Town here and view 100s of vintage filling stations photos here.

Johnson’s Corner is now a large truck stop next to I-25, north of Denver, CO, famous for its cinnamon rolls. The photo is courtesy of the Longmont Museum.


12 responses to “Johnson’s Corner 1930s Filling Station to be Saved?

  1. In the 50’s and 60’s there were 2 Johnson Corners stations in town, one on either end of main street (Now down town) I believ this one is the one from the south end as it was a bit older than the north one, and if memory serves me right, it was a brick building.. My niece who lives in Longmont said the owner’s intention was to restore this one but ran out of funds, so for now there are no plans. I could put you in touch with her if you are interested.

  2. I live in Denver and know Frank Barrett. He is a true preservationist and lover of all things automotive. I would love to see this building saved.

    • Can you get me in touch with Mr. Barrett. I am researching the old station and would like to talk to him about it.

  3. Yes, as a one time resident I can confirm that there were two Johnson’s Corners in Longmont that survived past mid-century, one on the North end of Main Street and the pictured here on the South end. These were in addition to the large truck stop of the same name on I-25 near Loveland. They are truly an historic part of Longmont and it’s a shame they didn’t end up getting historical designation and perseveration – which, I guess could still happen for the South one that moved and that as of April 2017 has still neither been restored nor demolished.

    Of interest to their existence through mid-century, in the 50s and 60s – the American Graffiti era if you will, Main Street Longmont and West Colfax in Lakewood were the preferred places for people to “drag Main” or “drag Colfax” / “cruise” on a Friday or Saturday night in their muscle cars – or whatever car they had. Young people would socialize, show off their cars, look to see and be seen by friends, occasionally burn rubber in a short race when the traffic light turned green, sometimes set up a longer drag race out on a “country” road (often “Airport Road” in Longmont). Draggers would drive from one end of town on Main Street to the other, back and forth, several times in an evening. Often such activity included stopping at one of the Johnson’s Corners for gas, and (shockingly enough in these times), to buy beer there . 3.2% beer could be sold to people 18 at the time, a lot of which was consumed while dragging / cruising.

    There’s much more to the history of Johnson’s Corners that just that little bit American Graffiti history though and I really hope someone sees an opportunity to step up and preserve the South building before it is lost forever. It would make a really great restaurant of coffee shop if nothing else.

  4. I am a “great-niece” of Joe and Ruth Johnson, and I know quite a lot of the history of the Johnson’s Corner business. You may contact me, if you’d like. I’m curious why you’re interested.

  5. I knew the owner of Johnson’s Corner (north end of town, maybe) His grandson and I were best friends, riding through town on our bikes playing cowboy’s and Indians. I still have a scar from where Hal Prescott hit me with a golf club. Not his fault. His grandmother used to play cards with us all the time in the house around the corner from the station. This was probably about 1969 (?) I’d love an update on this project as I’m planning a visit in September. Thank you.

  6. I lived in Longmont at the time and worked at North Johnson’s Corner when I was 14 to 17 beginning in 1968 until Sept !971 when I left to attend CSU. My brother Steve also worked there and got me the job. I even babysat Joes daughterand her husband’s kids who lived in the house behind the station. Pumped gas and diesel and fixed tires and sold beer and worked the soda fountain. Also did the daily “books” and prepared the daily bank deposit. Was so much fun! Worked after school during week and on weekends all day and until closing at 2 am. My brother just sent me the historic Johnson’s Corner coffee cup today.

    • Correction. I babysat Frank and Patty’ Prescott’s children at their house behind the station. I think Joe Johnson was Patty’s uncle. Frank managed the station . Later John Cushman took over the reins from Frank. When I left John was running it.

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