BP Bust: Downtown Manhattan is Now Without a Gas Station

Posted on: April 15th, 2016 at 4:53 am by
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The BP gas station on Lafayette Street – one of the longest continuously operated dispensaries in downtown Manhattan – closed for good yesterday. Each of the three pumping stations were boxed with plywood, and crime scene tape unrolled to prevent cars from entering.

Thus concludes the age of Gasoline Alley. End of an era.

As previously reported, the Porcelli family, landowner forty years running and founder of the Gaseteria chain of gas stations, is the developer of record. Plans for the forthcoming seven-story, 80,000 square-foot commercial building at 300 Lafayette first emerged in 2013 from designer COOKFOX. The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the design shortly thereafter, but the project remained in limbo until now.

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A gas station of some sort (from Gulf to Gaseteria) has been in business here ever since the city widened East Houston Street in the early 1930s. (Except, preceded for a brief period by a used car lot.) The thoroughfare, previously a narrow roadway, went under the knife during construction of the Sixth Avenue IND subway line. The resultant demolition of tenements on both sides left several vacant parcels, most of which have been re-developed or transformed into community gardens.

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Outside the Gaseteria in 1980, Photo: Steven Siegel

And now, the BP station is next. Herewith, some photos of its last hours on the block.

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