I’ve been all over the country the past few years photographing recycled gas stations, and those awaiting a new life. And all along there was a really nice one I’d been overlooking, right here under my nose in West Palm Beach, FL.
It’s at 3712 S. Olive Avenue, in the historic Central Park neighborhood. When it was unveiled in 1918, the neighborhood was more glamorously called Estates of South Palm Beach and was billed as the city’s first all-round suburban neighborhood with beautiful homes, fine shops and great entertainment.
The brainchild of New York developer Alfred Wagg, the project promised street lights, garages, plenty of exciting retail, meticulously appointed homes, a pier, a clubhouse, and a modern water system.
Then along came the 1928 hurricane and the Depression. By 1934, this gas station, at the corner of Lakeland Drive and South Olive Avenue, was the only business that had been built in the once-promising neighborhood.