Arizona gas station along Route 66 named to endangered historic places list

May 11, 2023, 4:05 AM | Updated: 6:09 am

(Arizona State Parks & Trails Photo)...

(Arizona State Parks & Trails Photo)

(Arizona State Parks & Trails Photo)

PHOENIX — A former gas station built in 1929 and Route 66 staple in northwest Arizona has been named one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2023.

The site owned by the Hualapai Tribe is located in Peach Springs, between Kingman and Flagstaff, and its prominence ran through the 1950s before Interstate 40 was completed in 1979.

It was privately owned until the Hualapai Tribe purchased the property after the station closed for preservation purposes, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The list, in its 36th year, raises awareness about threats facing places of historical significance if they are not preserved.

“It provides history of our tourism days when traffic came through with buses stopping daily. It is a reminder of days gone by and stands as a representation of the significance of our contribution to Route 66,” Sherry J. Parker, chairperson of the Hualapai Tribe, said in a press release.

The gas station’s inclusion on the list was the next step in its potential revitalization and that of downtown Peach Springs.

The Hualapai Tribe is in the process of raising funds for repairs and a reuse plan, securing a American Rescue Plan Act grant from Arizona State Parks and Trails.

“With recognition of its significance and support, it can once again serve as a meaningful piece of the Peach Springs revitalization plans of the Hualapai Tribe,” Gov. Katie Hobbs said in the release.

The site’s revival could include a museum, welcome center, auto repair, artist guild, gift or coffee shop, a gas station and an electric vehicle charging station, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The property has been weathered over time and would require substantial repairs.

A 2021 microburst tore off the building’s roof, which Arizona State Parks administered an ARPA grant to repair, but a windstorm in February knocked down on of its walls.

“Thanks to the Tribe’s commitment to steward this historic place, the Hualapai-owned gas station is poised to reach a new generation of tribal members and travelers through thoughtful reuse and planning, but it urgently needs stabilization and repair,” Katherine Malone-France, chief preservation officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said in the release.

The gas station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, which aims to evaluate and protect places of historical and archaeological significance, according to the National Park Service.

Last year, Camp Naco in Bisbee was named to the 11 Most Endangered Historic list and received a $4.6 million grant from Arizona and $3.5 million from the Mellon Foundation’s Monument Project Initiative.

Here are the 11 sites listed this year:

– Osterman Gas Station in Peach Springs, Arizona
– Little Santo Domingo in Miami, Florida
– Pierce Chapel African Cemetery in Midland, Georgia
– Century and Consumers Buildings in Chicago, Illinois
– West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana
– Holy Aid and Comfort Spiritual Church in New Orleans, Louisiana
– L.V. Hull Home and Studio in Kosciusko, Mississippi
– Henry Ossawa Tanner House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
– Philadelphia Chinatown in Pennsylvania
– Charleston’s Historic Neighborhoods in South Carolina
– Seattle Chinatown-International District in Washington

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Arizona gas station along Route 66 named to endangered historic places list