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Gas Station Series: Moderne Cities Service Facility in Portland, Maine

The corner of Brown and Free Streets in the City of Portland, Maine is the location of today’s late-1930s Gas Station Series photo. The entire lot appears to be a part of the operation centered by the near new Cities Service filling station and service garage building located on the corner. A tire shop and car wash building are visible on the far left, and a parking lot on the far right. The large masonry structure in the background is an Eastman Bros. & Bancroft department store.

The most interesting architectural elements in this scene are the glazed Art Moderne display towers on the front of the station building which were in vogue during this period. This was a standard Cities Service (Citco) building design at the time and is similar to this Company filling station located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The service station buildings have not survived and today a parking lot is located on the site.

Share with us what you find if interest in this image and view over two-hundred and fifty other Gasoline Station Series photographs posted here in the past. The pictures are courtesy of the Maine Memory Network.

14 responses to “Gas Station Series: Moderne Cities Service Facility in Portland, Maine

  1. This is really a quality image. Perfect film, perfect light, perfect f-stops and focus. No spots on the drive-way. A vehicle conveniently placed in each of the right spots and no people to disrupt things.

    Has To be a promotional photo.

    • I don’t know.
      If it was staged, I’d expect newer or nicer cars there, and probably not a older, worn looking truck obscuring part of the building.

      It might be just a high quality large format professionally taken photo.

  2. A rarely seen 1932 “shovel nose” Packard convertible parked at the curb. Nice 1936 Buick with sidemounts parked at the gas station.

  3. In the lead photograph [and in the 2nd expandable picture], parked on the street 3rd car back and facing the camera, is a 1932 PACKARD Light Eight Coupé.

  4. The second car to the left of that amazingly handsome gas station appears to be a ’36 Buick Roadmaster.
    Way off to the left think I see a Texaco station sign.
    Just a guess…the third car back on the side street…might that be a ’33 Essex Terraplane Roadster?

  5. The stake bed truck appears to be a mid 20’s IH S series 6 speed Special. By the time this picture was taken, this was already a pretty tired truck, but when introduced, with it’s 2 speed axle, it could attain passenger car speeds, unheard of for a truck at the time.

  6. That Cities Service station was a very elegant, stylish building, certainly helped established a modern image, the attractive place to fill up. Love the display towers. Immediately next to the left of the building is a ’37 Packard 120 touring sedan, and a ’36 Buick Roadmaster with side-mounts. I’ll guess the stake truck out front is an International Harvester.

    To the cars parked on the street: first is a ’26-’27 Cadillac 314 Series Fisher-bodied sedan, next a ’29 Buick 116 sedan. The third is a ’32 Packard Light Eight 900 convertible coupe, and fourth is a ’31 De Vaux, quite a rarity.

  7. I never quite understood the reason as to the ungainly Glass towers Cities Service used in the day . They certainly never harmonized with the rest of the building

  8. Bottom floor of the Eastman Building is now occupied by a “BRGR Bar” (a fancy burger bar). Their burgers look yummy – albeit very fattening.

  9. I would bet that the person who parked the first car on the side street is happy his sedan isn’t telling him that his door is a jar.

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