gas station project wins historic preservation award | Winchester Star


WHITE POST – Drivers approaching the narrow intersection of the White Post and Berrys Ferry routes may feel that they are in a time lag.

A gas station, which appears to have been built in the early days of the automobile, is just outside. But if they stop to refuel, they quickly realize they are out of luck.

The “eyeglasses” on old-fashioned fuel pumps show that there is no gas inside. Signs on jelly jar-sized containers attached to pipe fittings indicate that they must be full of fuel for the pumps to function properly.

In addition, signs displayed directly on the pumps indicate that the gas they contain contains lead. The federal government has banned the use of leaded gasoline in automobiles because of the potential damage it can cause to catalytic converters.

A large round sign hanging from a large metal post near the crossroads reads “Sinclair”.

A closer look reveals that the pumps, sign and even the paint on the building are actually fresh, despite their bygone appearances.

They are the result of the renovation of the property by the White Post Village Association.

In recognition of the many hours of work put into the project, as well as the result, the Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission recently awarded the association one of its four “Certificates of Merit” for 2021.

The abandoned 1930s gas station was donated to the association in 2017. Members decided to restore the building to its original appearance, including its ‘pebble stucco’ incorporating pieces of multi-colored glass from the Fenton Glass factory in West Virginia.

Shrubs and small trees surround the building, which is painted dark green and white. The upper portions of the building’s front windows contain red and green stained glass, with clear glass in the center.

Various types of small lights adorn the edge of the roof.

Inside, the walls are white. The floor features a checkerboard pattern of green and white tiles surrounded by a burgundy border.

A warning to vandals: don’t even consider damaging the property. Security cameras are installed all around.

More than $ 40,000 raised by the village association covered the costs of refurbishing the building and adding period pumps, signs and lighting.

“The project not only brought a unique structure back from near ruin, it also rallied White Post residents who worked together to create a point of pride for their village,” said the architectural historian of the county, Maral Kalbian.

“I am happy that the community was able to come together (…) to carry out the project,” said Billy Thompson IV, a representative of the village association.

Although the project is officially complete, the association hopes over time to add a few “little trinkets” to the property, such as lights to illuminate the Sinclair sign at night, Thompson said.

Perhaps the land could be used for a small gathering, like a community picnic, he said. But the building is small and “there really isn’t that much parking space” available, he stressed, so it cannot accommodate a large activity.

“It dresses up a bit of White Post,” said Thompson. Perhaps this will encourage residents to spruce up their properties, he added.

The Preservation Commission awarded further certificates of merit for 2021 to:

• Frank Sumner Carey and Luanne T. Carey for the rehabilitation of 8 E. Main St. in Boyce.

Curators consider the circa 1900 frame house to be the best example of Queen Anne style in the city.

The Careys completed renovations to the house shortly after purchasing it last year. The renovations were done meticulously, but with sensitivity, to ensure the house’s survival for years to come, Kalbian said.

• Patricia L. Corbat for the rehabilitation of 41 Lanham Lane near Bishop Meade Road and Old Chapel Episcopal Church.

Corbat purchased the large Victorian frame house in 2018. She brought it up to modern standards without affecting its historical integrity, Kalbian said.

The house sits on land originally owned by Warner Washington and later by David Sowers, who in the 1830s built the nearby Woodley Estate. The land was subdivided in the 1880s, when the lot on which the house stands today was established. The lot was first sold to Isham K. Briggs, who was the postmaster of the newly established Briggs railway stop and who allegedly built the house, according to Kalbian.

• Dion Bernier for the rehabilitation of 27, chemin Old Waterloo in Boyce.

Bernier bought the property on the southern edge of town, including the early 1900s house, three years ago, and then rehabilitated it. Abandoned for several years, the house was on the preservation commission’s list of historic properties threatened with “negligent demolition,” Kalbian said.

The rehabilitation illustrates how historic buildings are often well constructed, in good condition and should be restored rather than demolished, she said.

An event to honor the recipients is planned for July.

“It is an honor to recognize the owners of these properties for their investments in preserving the historic built environment of Clarke County,” said committee chair Betsy Arnett. “We hope that by recognizing them, we encourage other owners to preserve and rehabilitate their properties as well.”

“Every building that is saved and brought back to useful life reinforces the historic character of Clarke County,” said Arnett.


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