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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Pioneer Oil Company Filling Station
Reference Number 13000070
State Iowa
County Poweshiek
Town Grinnell
Street Address 831 West Street, Grinnell, IA
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 03/13/2013
Areas of Significance Architecture, Commerce
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The Pioneer Oil Company Filling Station is significant on the local level on the basis of its commercial architecture (Criterion C). This is a well preserved example of a custom-built filling station. This building evolved in form and design with its ever-changing auto/truck fueling industry. It started out as a smaller office building into the present extended design. Grinnell by 1940 had nearly 20 service stations and this is Grinnell's sole surviving intact example of a pre-World War II this architectural type. Just three historic service stations survive in Grinnell. One, a Deep Rock station (621 Fourth Avenue, built in 1956 and was located immediately north cross Fourth Avenue is nearly obliterated by alterations whi e a 1956 Phillips 66 Station (804 Sixth Avenue) represents a national design prototype. While custom built as described, this example very much conforms with two trends in service station design. The first was an emphasis on a horizontal massing and ornamentation. The second was an emphasis on distinguishing the office and service bay sections of the building. Thus the office gained a distinctive pediment and focused brickwork detailing and coloration.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria