Discussion:
OT: Outdoor bathrooms at old gas stations
(too old to reply)
Pete Jenior
2010-01-09 01:41:32 UTC
Permalink
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?

Pete
Larry Sheldon
2010-01-09 02:19:52 UTC
Permalink
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,
I think).

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.
--
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take everything you have."

Remember: The Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.

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Otto Yamamoto
2010-01-09 03:46:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Sheldon
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,
I think).
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.
There are a very few stations like that left around this area. I like the
use of the term 'gedunk'. Reminds me of my Navy days.
--
Otto Yamamoto
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2019-03-23 08:04:04 UTC
Permalink
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i***@gmail.com
2019-03-23 05:44:40 UTC
Permalink
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Scott in SoCal
2010-01-09 05:11:41 UTC
Permalink
Last time on misc.transport.road, "Pete Jenior"
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?
Me bet is that when those gas stations were built they didn't need
locks on those doors (other than interior privacy locks). It probably
wasn't until years later that scumbags made the key-behind-the-counter
shuffle necessary.
Scott M. Kozel
2010-01-09 05:38:14 UTC
Permalink
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?
Probably because before then they could be left unlocked during business
hours without the owner worrying about abuse. I.e. it made
architectural sense when they were built. I still see some with
unlocked doors in some areas.
--
Scott M. Kozel Highway and Transportation History Websites
Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. http://www.roadstothefuture.com
Capital Beltway Projects http://www.capital-beltway.com
Philadelphia and Delaware Valley http://www.pennways.com
i***@gmail.com
2019-03-23 08:07:04 UTC
Permalink
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h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2010-01-09 06:01:01 UTC
Permalink
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.
Do modern gas stations even have restrooms? Whether an old 1950s
style building or a modern one, they seem to be set up to maximize
security for the attendant--for good reason--and perhaps sell some
snacks, but nothing else. There aren't many classic ones that have
service bays associated with them.

I thought most gas stations simply eliminated their bathrooms due to
security problems, cost of maintenance and cleaning, etc.
Otto Yamamoto
2010-01-09 06:26:20 UTC
Permalink
Do modern gas stations even have restrooms? Whether an old 1950s style
building or a modern one, they seem to be set up to maximize security
for the attendant--for good reason--and perhaps sell some snacks, but
nothing else. There aren't many classic ones that have service bays
associated with them.
I thought most gas stations simply eliminated their bathrooms due to
security problems, cost of maintenance and cleaning, etc.
In SE NY, yes, many do. Not all of them, but your better convenience
chains like On the Run, Stewarts, Quik Chek and the like are pretty well
guaranteed to have decent and clean facilities that are open to the
general public. You're not obliged to buy anything, either, but I usually
do.
--
Otto Yamamoto
Andrew M. Saucci, Jr.
2010-01-09 20:07:26 UTC
Permalink
I think that buying something after using someone's restroom is an
honorable thing to do. In the long run it makes sense, too. After all, if no
one ever bought anything, the facility would not be there.

As an aside, I've often stopped at public libraries in my travels if
I'm not in the mood to buy anything. That can be an interesting diversion
while off the beaten path. Of course, I'm not much for interstates, so this
is often a realistic option for me.
Post by Otto Yamamoto
Do modern gas stations even have restrooms? Whether an old 1950s style
building or a modern one, they seem to be set up to maximize security
for the attendant--for good reason--and perhaps sell some snacks, but
nothing else. There aren't many classic ones that have service bays
associated with them.
I thought most gas stations simply eliminated their bathrooms due to
security problems, cost of maintenance and cleaning, etc.
In SE NY, yes, many do. Not all of them, but your better convenience
chains like On the Run, Stewarts, Quik Chek and the like are pretty well
guaranteed to have decent and clean facilities that are open to the
general public. You're not obliged to buy anything, either, but I usually
do.
--
Otto Yamamoto
US 71
2010-01-09 20:44:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew M. Saucci, Jr.
As an aside, I've often stopped at public libraries in my travels if
I'm not in the mood to buy anything. That can be an interesting diversion
while off the beaten path. Of course, I'm not much for interstates, so this
is often a realistic option for me.
I'll sometimes stop at McDonald's, then sneak back out the side door ;)

But only if really need a break and there's nothing else around.

I'm not crazy about their food, but their restrooms are *usually* some of the
best.
h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2010-01-10 03:30:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by US 71
I'll sometimes stop at McDonald's, then sneak back out the side door ;)
Some fast food places lock their bathrooms and one must ask at the
counter to be buzzed in.
i***@gmail.com
2019-03-23 08:09:26 UTC
Permalink
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h***@bbs.cpcn.com
2010-01-10 03:29:01 UTC
Permalink
        I think that buying something after using someone's restroom is an
honorable thing to do. In the long run it makes sense, too. After all, if no
one ever bought anything, the facility would not be there.
I've gotten yelled by places for buying "only" a soda.
US 71
2010-01-10 05:05:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew M. Saucci, Jr.
I think that buying something after using someone's restroom is an
honorable thing to do. In the long run it makes sense, too. After all, if no
one ever bought anything, the facility would not be there.
I've gotten yelled by places for buying "only" a soda.



Sheesh! A bottle soda, maybe, but the mark-up on fountain drinks is insane:
nearly 75 percent profit when I worked for EZ Mart.
Tom
2010-01-10 18:01:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
I've gotten yelled by places for buying "only" a soda.
nearly 75 percent profit when I worked for EZ Mart.
At which point I leave the soda on their counter and leave, making a
big act of returning my money to my wallet.
Scott M. Kozel
2010-01-10 14:08:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Post by Andrew M. Saucci, Jr.
I think that buying something after using someone's restroom is an
honorable thing to do. In the long run it makes sense, too. After all, if no
one ever bought anything, the facility would not be there.
I've gotten yelled by places for buying "only" a soda.
Nobody has ever said anything to me regardless of what I bought or
didn't buy.
--
Scott M. Kozel Highway and Transportation History Websites
Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. http://www.roadstothefuture.com
Capital Beltway Projects http://www.capital-beltway.com
Philadelphia and Delaware Valley http://www.pennways.com
Scott M. Kozel
2010-01-09 14:17:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Do modern gas stations even have restrooms? Whether an old 1950s
style building or a modern one, they seem to be set up to maximize
security for the attendant--for good reason--and perhaps sell some
snacks, but nothing else. There aren't many classic ones that have
service bays associated with them.
Most in my state do, places like Wawa, Sheetz, Valero, etc. always do,
including most 7/11s. Granted they don't have service bays...
--
Scott M. Kozel Highway and Transportation History Websites
Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. http://www.roadstothefuture.com
Capital Beltway Projects http://www.capital-beltway.com
Philadelphia and Delaware Valley http://www.pennways.com
Lepidopteran
2010-01-12 00:14:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott M. Kozel
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
Do modern gas stations even have restrooms?
Most in my state do, places like Wawa, Sheetz, Valero, etc. always do,
including most 7/11s. Granted they don't have service bays...
Back in the 1970s, it seemed like the big trend was to do away with the
"service" part of the station, and put a convenience store in the former
service bays. I've even seen some where the interior was barely
refinished, and the access was through the old side door leading to the
counter area. The garage doors might have been sealed or permanently shut,
or maybe with a glass door assembly put in the middle of one.

Regarding gas stations without restrooms, I would think they all still have
them, since the staff have their calls to nature. They might not be open
to customers, tho, or one of those if-you-ask-politely-they-let-you-use-it
deals.
Scott in SoCal
2010-01-09 20:57:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
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.
Do modern gas stations even have restrooms?
Yes. Certainly the ones with convenience stores and/or near major
highways do.
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
I thought most gas stations simply eliminated their bathrooms due to
security problems, cost of maintenance and cleaning, etc.
Having a public restroom is a "killer app" for a roadside business.
People come in because they have an urgent need, and most then make
impulse purchases on the way out.
US 71
2010-01-10 00:04:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott in SoCal
Having a public restroom is a "killer app" for a roadside business.
People come in because they have an urgent need, and most then make
impulse purchases on the way out.
Having one that's van accessible is even better:

Loading Image...
Frito Pendejo
2010-01-10 00:44:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@bbs.cpcn.com
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.
Do modern gas stations even have restrooms? Whether an old 1950s
style building or a modern one, they seem to be set up to maximize
security for the attendant--for good reason--and perhaps sell some
snacks, but nothing else. There aren't many classic ones that have
service bays associated with them.
I've noticed that some Murphy (Wal Mart) gas stations have a bathroom with
an outside door.
i***@gmail.com
2019-03-23 05:46:07 UTC
Permalink
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i***@gmail.com
2019-03-23 07:57:29 UTC
Permalink
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gpsman
2010-01-09 06:22:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete Jenior
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?
So that access to and from remained more or less in public view (the
gas jockey could not, for example, corner a woman, inside, behind 2
doors) and they could be left available when the gas station was
closed (back when gas stations closed) and midnight poop artists were
not so prevalent and dedicated.

The key routine was instituted so that people might not so
conveniently and comfortably lay in wait to bash someone's brains out,
etc.
-----

- gpsman
Rich Piehl
2010-01-10 01:15:58 UTC
Permalink
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?
Pete
I've sometimes seen them at stations where they have a separate free
standing car wash. I guess it's cheaper to put the major plumbing for
toilets in with the plumbing for car wash and then run a small water and
drain line to the attendant building for an ice machine, hand sink
and/or janitor sink.
i***@gmail.com
2019-03-23 08:08:03 UTC
Permalink
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John Lansford
2010-01-10 19:36:39 UTC
Permalink
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?
Back in a more innocent time, the gas stations would close but for
public convenience the bathrooms were still accessible by the
travellng public. If they were in the building then they would be
locked up when the gas station closed.

Now, with the advent of 24 hour stations and rest areas, the need for
publicly available rest rooms on private property is less, and the
increase in crime/unacceptable activity in unwatched locations makes
outdoor accessible restrooms less popular.

There's still plenty of these in rural areas that don't need key entry
for their use, though, but even in those locations they are starting
to disappear.

John Lansford, PE
--
John's Shop of Wood
http://wood.jlansford.net/
c***@gmail.com
2019-03-18 19:10:57 UTC
Permalink
Sounds like a way for creeps to easily sneak up on you
H.B. Elkins
2019-03-20 15:43:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by c***@gmail.com
Sounds like a way for creeps to easily sneak up on you
That's why there are locks on the doors.
--
To reply by e-mail, remove the "restrictorplate"
Larry Sheldon
2019-03-21 23:17:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by H.B. Elkins
Post by c***@gmail.com
Sounds like a way for creeps to easily sneak up on you
That's why there are locks on the doors.
And we didn't have "press" and other politicians talking about and
issuing Executive Orders creating creeps, that I remember.
--
quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
-- Juvenal
Larry Sheldon
2019-03-22 00:21:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Sheldon
Post by H.B. Elkins
Post by c***@gmail.com
Sounds like a way for creeps to easily sneak up on you
That's why there are locks on the doors.
And we didn't have "press" and other politicians talking about and
issuing Executive Orders creating creeps, that I remember.
And last I checked Target and the high schools all have indoor toilets.
--
quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
-- Juvenal
i***@gmail.com
2019-03-23 07:14:34 UTC
Permalink
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i***@gmail.com
2019-03-23 07:59:06 UTC
Permalink
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