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But the spirit of 76 lives on

Gas station off Tamarack demolished

The old 76 sign on its side
The old 76 sign on its side

An unsightly, out-of-business 76 gas station on Carlsbad’s Tamarack Drive/I-5 exit was demolished last week. The final demolition, removal of the 40-foot-high sign with the orange 76-ball logo, was taken down on January 11.

The station reportedly had been the cause of complaints to the city, after it seemed abandoned by Conoco Phillips, owners of the 76 brand. Conoco eventually put up a green mesh fence around the property and blacked out the 76 sign.

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After I-5’s construction was completed in 1964 (from Carlsbad’s Palomar Airport exit south to Pacific Beach’s Grand/Garnet exit), to serve the increased motoring public, almost every corner of the new freeway’s exits included gas stations or restaurants. The ball-logo sign could be seen for miles around, several exits in either direction, when lit at night.

When the 76 station closed, the brand moved across the freeway to the east side, into a former Exxon station, in front of a Vons/Rite Aid shopping center (once Safeway/Thrifty Drug). Originally built in the early 1960s as a Texaco station, it was owned by Frank and Brenda Kennedy, part of the Kennedy Texaco family dynasty of several stations in Oceanside and Carlsbad.

According to the North County Times, the California Coastal Commission approved the old station’s demolition in August 2013. Conoco Phillips eventually sold the property. Carlsbad’s neighborhood service director, Debbie Fountain, contacted the new owners, Tamarack Retail Partners, and they were reportedly cooperative about getting the 1500-square-foot lot demolished before submitting a development application.

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The old 76 sign on its side
The old 76 sign on its side

An unsightly, out-of-business 76 gas station on Carlsbad’s Tamarack Drive/I-5 exit was demolished last week. The final demolition, removal of the 40-foot-high sign with the orange 76-ball logo, was taken down on January 11.

The station reportedly had been the cause of complaints to the city, after it seemed abandoned by Conoco Phillips, owners of the 76 brand. Conoco eventually put up a green mesh fence around the property and blacked out the 76 sign.

Sponsored
Sponsored

After I-5’s construction was completed in 1964 (from Carlsbad’s Palomar Airport exit south to Pacific Beach’s Grand/Garnet exit), to serve the increased motoring public, almost every corner of the new freeway’s exits included gas stations or restaurants. The ball-logo sign could be seen for miles around, several exits in either direction, when lit at night.

When the 76 station closed, the brand moved across the freeway to the east side, into a former Exxon station, in front of a Vons/Rite Aid shopping center (once Safeway/Thrifty Drug). Originally built in the early 1960s as a Texaco station, it was owned by Frank and Brenda Kennedy, part of the Kennedy Texaco family dynasty of several stations in Oceanside and Carlsbad.

According to the North County Times, the California Coastal Commission approved the old station’s demolition in August 2013. Conoco Phillips eventually sold the property. Carlsbad’s neighborhood service director, Debbie Fountain, contacted the new owners, Tamarack Retail Partners, and they were reportedly cooperative about getting the 1500-square-foot lot demolished before submitting a development application.

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Comments
3

The pattern of the fifties and sixties was to overbuild retail gasoline stations. The dynamics of marketing refined petroleum products at the time was different from now. I recall a few instances where there was a station on each of four corners of intersections around towns. Now I'd have to say we have too few such dispensaries, and it can be a challenge to find a place to refuel along some of our crowded interstates. That ball sign was something that a new station would no longer be allowed to construct. In some cases the reuse of the station site will keep the sign and convert it to its new purpose. In some ways, I'd have expected that to happen in this case. But this is Carlsbad we're talking about here, and developments or redevelopments in that city have to run a gauntlet of approvals and NIMBY opposition.

Now, if we could get a couple unsightly unused gasoline stations reused here in Vista, I'd be pleased. There's one former 76 station on E Vista Way that has been closed for at least 15 years, and has been for sale for that long for other than that use. Why the sellers will not sell it for use as a gasoline station, I don't know. But it probably has to do with contamination, the need to remove the tanks (of they haven't already been unearthed), or some other restriction placed by the city. We have other such spots in town, too.

Jan. 15, 2015

The cost of complying with the Solid Waste Disposal Act and remediation of leaking underground storage tanks is prohibitive. Sooner or later the value of real estate will rise enough to justify the clean-up. Abandoned gas stations are ugly and they are present all over San Diego County.

Jan. 16, 2015

I was reminded by the Kennedy family (referenced as the 1960s owners of the Tamarack Texaco,) they were the first gas station built on the new I-5 freeway from Oceanside to Pacific Beach.

Jan. 31, 2015

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