Commonwealth Preservation Group

401 Mason Ave Norfolk, VA

401 Mason Ave – Before

401 Mason Avenue in Cape Charles, Virginia was constructed in 1935 as a Pure Oil gas station. Mason Avenue emerged at an early date as the primary historic commercial corridor in Cape Charles and runs parallel to the railroad line. The building was designed in the Tudor Revival style, mimicking an English cottage at a time when gas stations were designed to blend in with their surroundings for more appropriate placement in residential communities and non-industrial commercial corridors.  The building retains a number of features characteristic of the branded design by company architect Carl A. Peterson, including the original steeply pitched blue tile roof, paired chimneys, wooden shutters, and decorative copper and iron elements.

401 Mason Ave – After

In the 1950s, a concrete block garage was appended to the west wall of the garage. The garage differs in style from the original building and features three large loading door openings, steel awning windows, and a steel sliding pedestrian door. 

As a result of the historic tax credit application, this vacant service station was transformed into a book store and coffee shop. The Pure Oil branded features were restored, including the painstaking removal of paint from the blue glazed roof tiles.

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