Shell-shaped Gas Station, Winston Salem

The Shell Service Station in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, was a filling station constructed in 1930 following a decision in the 1920s by the new local Shell distributor, Quality Oil Co., to bring brand awareness to the market in Winston-Salem. The building is an example of representational or novelty architecture and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 13, 1976. It is located in the Waughtown-Belview Historic District.
This single-story Shell station, in the shape of a giant scallop shell, was built by R.H. Burton and his son, Ralph, in 1930 at Sprague and Peachtree Streets in Winston-Salem. The owners of the oil company decided to attract customers through a series of shell-shaped service stations. They built at least eight in the Winston-Salem area, but the station at Sprague and Peachtree is the only one remaining. The Shell station speaks to the literalism prevalent in some advertising during the 1920s and '30s.
Preservation North Carolina, an organization dedicated to the preservation of historic sites, spent one year and $50,000 to bring the landmark station back to its original condition. Workers removed layers of faded yellow paint to reveal the Shell's original yellow-orange color. The original front door was repaired and a crack fixed that had been previously sealed with nothing more than black tar. The wooden, trellised shelter that housed the car wash and allowed cars to be washed and/or serviced in the shade was reconstructed as well. The oil company donated restored gas pumps and replica lamp posts to help finish off the restoration. The landmark now serves as a satellite office for Preservation North Carolina.
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Shell-shaped Gas Station Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
156 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • You just need to stop here!! It is right off of Highway 52. A great photo-op place. It has been well maintained once it was restored a few years ago. And the story behind it is great too!!!  more »
  • One of, if not the only, still standing "Shell" stations in the USA. Great place to snap a photo or two.  more »
Google
  • Not functioning gas station, but worth the stop! Brings you back to a time when car culture was king. It is the only one left standing out of 8 that were built in Winston Salem NC. Definitely a fun quick stop if you need to stretch your legs. Parking is accessible and numerous. Worth it to take pictures and relive the golden days of the Highway!
  • The shell shaped shell station Say that 3 times fast! While on a road trip my boyfriend and I decided to find a random roadside attraction. It was only a 4 minute detour and it was an opportunity to stretch out legs and rage some fun pictures.

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