Actually, the wrecking ball is only on hold: The group petitioned their Councilmember to get the shuttered station (which was until recently a car-repair shop, and was slated to become a 4-story office building) considered for Cultural-Historical Landmark status. The former Atlantic Richfield station is one of three similarly designed shops that used to dot the neighborhood, which still features a few other Streamline Moderne (which some call "Art Deco") buildings from the same era, in various states of (dis) repair.
The history of Streamline in L.A. is mostly of monumental public buildings (like the old Bullocks Department store, City Hall, and Griffith Observatory), and the smaller stuff has been overshadowed by the residential architecture of Modernists who began their careers around the same time (e.g., Neutra and Schindler). But this pre-midcentury style is pretty cool, and it'll be interesting to see if this plucky little gas-n-go gets its day in the sun.
More details can be found here. If you're feeling ambitious, you can download the landmark application in PDF form; fascinating historical info and architectural geekery lie within.
Dave has contributed to Dwell since its inception. He's a CalArts dropout, a former art critic for The New Yorker, and a producer of comedies on TV. He lives in, and writes from, Los Angeles.