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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Magnolia Gas Station
Structure Number:
01-103-A
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
1. 
Visitors Center
2. 
Mobil Gas Station
3. 
Magnolia Mobil Station
Park:
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
Historic District:
 
Historic District
1. 
Central High School Neighborhood Historic District
Structure State:
Arkansas
Structure County:
Pulaski
Region:
Midwest
Cluster:
Great Plains
Administrative Unit:
LIRO
LCS ID:
313724
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
02/18/1999
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Contributing
Short Significance Description:
Contributing structure to Central High School Neighborhood Historic District and noteworthy as an example of Spanish Colonial Revival style. Eligible under Criteria A and C.
Long Significance Description:
The Magnolia Gas Station sits on the south east corner of Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive and Park Street, directly across the street from Little Rock Central High School. News media utilized the site as a staging area to cover the school integregation crisis of 1957.

In addition to its association with the civil rights movement and events at Central High School, the Spanish Colonial Revival brick and stucco gas station building is one of only five such structures within the Central High School Neighborhood Historic District. The Magnolia Petroleum Company of Texas built the service station in the 1920's. Magnolia Petroleum was one many regional oil companies owned by Mobil Oil Corporation. Founded as Vacuum Oil Company of Rochester, New York, by Matthew Ewing and Hiram Everest in 1866 the company became a subsidiary of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Corporation of Ohio in 1879.

The Magnolia Gas Station building currently serves as the visitor center for Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site. The structure is eligible for the National Register under Critieria A and C.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1920
AD
1930
AD
Magnolia Petroleum Company
Other
2. 
Rehabilitated
1996
AD
1997
AD
Central High Museum, Inc.
Other
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Business
Primary Current Use:
Visitor Contact (Visitor Center)
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
No records.
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Building
Volume:
20,000 - 2,000,000 cubic feet
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Walls
Stucco
2. 
Roof
Synthetics
3. 
Foundation
Brick
4. 
Foundation
Concrete
5. 
Walls
Brick
6. 
Roof
Terra Cotta
Short Physical Description:
One story former gas station spanish colonial revival style, flat roof, tiled parapets, white stucco over brick walls, porte cochere over gas pumps, two service bays.
Long Physical Description:
The Magnolia Mobil Gas Station is a one story two bay service station built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. It consists of two sections, the original gas station and a later addition, joined by a short hallway. The footprint of the building forms an H, with the front portion being slightly wider than the rear. The original portion of the gas station is brick with white stucco. The addition is light tan brick left its natural color.

On the main, or northern facade, a gabled porte cochere extends from the main entrance toward the street to form a fueling bay. Two paneled, overhead doors lead to the mechanical bays. The single leaf 8-paned front door is topped with a 3-paned transom. The west elevation of the original section of the station contains a 2-panel door topped with a 3-light transom that led to the restroom and a large, single pane display window capped by two 3-pane transoms. Shallow visor roofs supported by heavy brackets project over both the door and window.

The original gas station is faced in a combination of brick and stucco. Terracotta barrel tile covers the gabled roof of the fuel bay, sections of the parapet, and the shallow visor roofs. A barrel arch terminates the porte cochere at the fueling island. The new addition is faced with different colored brick to distinguish new construction from old. Window sizes and pane arrangment on the addition echo the original gas station's fenestration.

The interior of the original station has been altered to accomodate its new usage as a visitor center and contact station. The original office space is now the reception area; the mechanical bays have been converted into gallery space.

The exterior of the building has been restored to reflect the structure's appearance in 1957.