Post by Pete Jenior
Many old gas stations have bathrooms that are only accessable from the
outside. This is inconvinient becasue it typically requires getting a key
from the main indoor area, going outside and using the bathroom, and then
returning the key. I can't recall a gas station that appeared to be built
in, say, the last 20 years being designed like this.
Why was this once done?
Just a guess, but, those station buildings were (apparently) built to
occupy the smallest possible "footprint" (a term that was not used then,
There were one or two service bays (sized to fit the bigger cars of the
day) in (usually) the left half of the building. The right half was
divided into three pieces. The rear half was divided into two
parts--the left piece of the rear part was storeroom--open to the
service bay(s). The remainder of the rear half was the restrooms and
the only place to put the doors to them was to the outside, although
some had the front one (almost always the "Women's") opened into the
office (front) area).
The office area was the front part of the right end, and had a "L"
shaped counter whose rear area opened into the service bay.
The area in front of the counter opened to the fuel islands, and perhaps
to the service bay. And maybe to the Women's restroom. The area
between the counter and the front of the building contained gedunk and
motor-oil displays and such. The coke machine probably stood outside
the door to the fuel islands.
In order to accommodate interior restrooms, coffee bars, groceries and
so forth requires larger buildings and the changing mores requiring
continuous surveillance also argues for everything being where the
cameras can see it.
(Some old stations had the restrooms in a separate building in the back
or side of the building--reminiscent of holes-in-the-ground latrines,
although I never saw such a thing--just some that smelled like it.
"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to
take everything you have."
Remember: The Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.
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