The historic Mahan gas station that sat at the now-closed Shea’s Gas Station Museum in Springfield, Illinois, was moved Sunday about a quarter-mile north to its new owner, Fulgenzi’s Pizza and Pasta, reported the State Journal-Register.
Owner Jeff Fulgenzi told the newspaper he plans to restore it as much as possible to its original state. It was placed on the east side of the restaurant, facing Route 66 as it did.
Fulgenzi bought the station in November when memorabilia at the Shea’s property was auctioned. Longtime Shea’s Route 66 Museum owner and Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame member Bill Shea died at age 91 in late 2013. After the frail Shea was admitted to a nursing home the last months of his life, the Shea’s museum was open only by appointment.
The Mahan gas station dates to the 1920s from Middletown, Illinois, and was believed to be the oldest surviving gas station in the state. Shea moved the station to his museum about 15 years ago.
Fulgenzi said he originally had 30 days to move the station, but Shea’s son, Bill Jr., gave him extra time.
According to the newspaper:
Fulgenzi said work will now begin on getting the station “restaged” at the restaurant at 1168 Sangamon Ave., where it still faces Route 66.
“We have some plans for it that should be pretty exciting if we can put it together,” he said. “Now we’re going to start to rebuild the collection of memorabilia.”
Fulgenzi said he bought the station so it could remain on the Route 66 corridor. He intends to reopen the station to the public at some point.
Fulgenzi said in November he will meet with tourism and preservation officials to form a long-term plan for the gas station.
The north end of Springfield reportedly saw a drop in Route 66 in tourism. The closing of Shea’s and Vic’s Pizza played a role in the decline. Perhaps Fulgenzi sees this acquisition as a way to put Route 66 tourism juice back in that part of town.
(Video capture of Mahan gas station being moved by Josh Friedrich via Facebook)