While neighborhood gas stations and service centers are images familiar to all Americans, few realize their contribution to the architecture of a downtown area. One of the most obvious differences between this building and the rest of downtown Hammond is size. It is one of only five single-story buildings in the downtown area.
The style of architecture is also significantly different than the rest. Almost all historic commercial buildings in Hammond are Queen Ann, Federal, art deco, or commercial arts and crafts in style.
The flat tile roof and stucco façade of this building indicate 1930s mission styling, a trend made popular in the American West.
The shape of the lot speaks volumes about the changes the automobile brought to American life. Prior to cars, people built commercial buildings as closely together as possible for the ease of pedestrian traffic. The convenience of the car led to larger lots and more open space. The same logic would later lead to the creation of the American suburb.
Look east above Johnnys to the advertisement painted on the building next door. Although no longer allowed in the interest of protecting historic buildings, this early form of billboard is a reminder of times past. It is also a clue to the changes made necessary by an increasing population. The ad cannot be seen by motorists on the one-way street.