Thanks to the discerning eye of J. Eric Freedner, we've been alerted to design changes at the modernist William Pereira-designed 76 station in Beverly Hills, CA. Of all the 76 stations which still proudly fly the orange ball, this is the most unique and architecturally significant, and we've let ConocoPhillips know that the Los Angeles conservation community will be scandalized if its classic beauty is marred by one of the new blisterpak-style red signs. Would you dress Audrey Hepburn in Juicy Couture?
J. Eric says: The actual name of the dealer is "Jack Colker's 76" and he has an address on North Crescent Drive. The station is on the corner of Crescent and Little Santa Monica Boulevard and is the only remaining gas station in downtown Beverly Hills. Perhaps that accounts for the high volume of business done there, especially at rush hour.
Below, a night shot of the station interior on 2/15, revealing newly installed red pump panels, replacing the previous stainless steel. Regular visitors to this site know, when the creeping red appears, it means the beloved orange ball is soon to fall. But we also know that ConocoPhillips has decided to manufacture a limited number of red 76 balls for installation at select stations. Could one of those red balls be destined for Beverly Hills?
Right now there are at least two notable stations in the L.A. area that have red signage on the pumps, but still retain their orange 76 balls: Beverly Hills, and the station at the high-traffic corner of Melrose and Highland. If these highly visible stations aren't on the short list to retain their balls, we'd like to know why not.
For more of J. Eric Freedner's and Earl Ma's photos of the Beverly Hills 76 station, just click.
And now a word from our Nathan:
The Oasis re-imaging campaign, expected to continue through 2007, is giving the Phillips 66, Conoco and 76 branded stations a consistent look across the country. Additionally, the company has improved a number of offerings to help strengthen the brands and bring them under the umbrella of ‘ONE!’ – one company, one image, one credit card, one quality product.”
- ConocoPhillips 2004 Annual Report
I trust many of you are familiar with the “Save Ray’s Balls!” campaign at http://www.savethe76ball.com/ -- not only are the balls going, but the gas station architecture as well, as part of the nefariously-named Oasis Campaign. Check out the Oahu photos at the top of the savethe76ball page to see what they’re up to.
Here is the Pereira & Assoc. 1965 Union Oil station --
-- further seen here -- http://you-are-here.com/googie/_76.html -- could she be next?
Will Beverly Hills lose Trader Vic’s and Pereira’s 76 in one fell swoop? Given the sterling history of preservation in BH… Gershwin House, Beverly Theater…
(…thanks to Adrienne Biondo for [unknowingly] allowing me to steal her wonderful photo from LAOK.)