This Week’s Sheboygan Sun blog –
What’s in a Name? The 99 Hall
This week’s landmark property – Erie Oil
Built in the Art Deco style, designed by Edgar Stubenrauch, architect, the two sites were more like works of art than gas stations.
Erie Oil Company began back in 1924 as a two-pump gas station at 14th and Erie in Sheboygan. H.J. Blocki, M.N. Filz and A.W. Schultz founded the firm. According to a 1953 press clipping the company marketed its own line of gasoline and provided tires and other automotive services.
The company, which was known for the Art Deco styling of its facilities, later expanded to other locations. A station at 8th and Kentucky and a station, along with a parking lot at 9th and Niagara. The parking lot was one of the first automobile parking lots in the city. By the late 1930s the 9th and Niagara location appears to have been shuttered. The Erie Oil Company itself later faded into the pages of Sheboygan history.
It was thought this style in Sheboygan was almost too decorative for its purpose. The distinctive décor of the Erie Oil Company was always an attraction. At night, a prominent feature of the station, was its name written in neon lights.
The photos were taken about 1939.
Art Deco, also called style moderne, was a movement in the decorative arts and architecture and originated in the 1920s. The distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes, often with a “streamlined” look; ornament that is geometric or stylized from representational forms; and unusually varied, often expensive materials, which frequently include man-made substances (plastics, especially Bakelite; vita-glass; and ferroconcrete) in addition to natural ones (jade, silver, ivory, obsidian, chrome, and rock crystal).