But now we're swimming in cheap gas, just as the car companies are rolling out gas-sipping hybrids and all-electric vehicles, desperately banking on a change in consumer needs that may already have come and gone.
When green driving ceases to be a selling point, perhaps architecture can point the way. In Los Angeles, land of the car—and the gas station—BP built a LEED-certified "gas station of the future," called the Helios House. United Oil has tried something similar, but this time giving consumers interesting architecture as their marketing strategy; their updated Googie gas station, designed by Kanner Architects, was supposed to open in 2007 but may start fueling cars by Groundhog Day.
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.