Constructed in 1949 as the vision of industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague as one of some 10,000+ Texaco service stations developed between 1936 and 1964, this Orleans Parish station stood as one of the few survivors of Teague’s Moderne style prototypes. Unlike most of the original stations that were either demolished or heavily altered, the structure at 3060 Saint Claude Avenue retained a wealth of original historic fabric, making it well-suited for both federal and state historic tax credits. Developer Patrick Finney worked with Beth Jacob of MHA New Orleans and a team of local, like-minded consultants, architects, contractors, artisans, and designers to restore the station’s character defining features and adapt the structure for use as a lively neighborhood taqueria, Galaxie Tacos.
During the renovation, exploratory demolition of the one-story concrete block and stucco building led to the discovery of many original character defining features that had been hidden beneath the property’s later 1970s alterations and additions. Specifically, the exploratory demolition revealed original details including the property’s curving canopy corners, horizontal fins, interior fixtures and tiles, ghost marks of Texaco stars and signs, and evidence of the horizontal banding and the original exterior green and white paint scheme. With MHA’s help, project partners were able to preserve, restore, and replicate many of these significant historic details. Stucco repair and painting with the help of local artisans along with skillful fabrication and replication of industrial and Texaco branded elements helped to create the perfect atmosphere for the Bywater neighborhood’s newest Mexico City street fare-inspired taqueria.
Restaurant entrepreneurs Patrick Finney and Ken Jackson use the station’s roll-up garage doors to open up their lively space to plentiful outdoor seating on a block packed with other creative and energetic restaurants and bars. From this vantage point, customers can enjoy Galaxie Tacos’ nostalgic 1940s architecture alongside tortillas ground in-house with corn imported from Oaxaca, 24 varieties of mezcal (available in flights), margaritas, and other specially designed creative cocktails.
Louisiana Landmarks Society | 2020 Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation - Commercial Renovation/Rehabilitation
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