The regulars here know about the small town I live in. Since this little time waster is starting to get some page-views from those far away I must assume you don’t. Helena, Alabama is a small town (15K pop.) in the outer suburbs of the Birmingham metro area (1M pop.). It has a small town feel with an old downtown area complete with a railroad depot and a large “creek” with dam/waterfall right in the middle of downtown.
It’s a great little town. In the past year Helena has been recognized nationally in BusinessWeek’s 100 Best Places to Live and in Money Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Live. As you might expect there is a great deal of new development in the area and the local government is trying to make sure the downtown area is protected and to keep the charm intact. What you see here is an example of that effort.
This is a brand new automobile service station near downtown Helena. Obviously it is built to look like an old station. I’m not sure who owns it, or even it’s name since there is no sign (yet), so I’m just calling it “Helena Station”. The local news ran a brief story on it when construction started and said that it was being built based on photographs from an actual automobile service station in Helena in the early 1900’s that no longer exists. Architects drew plans based on the photographs to create an identical building but built to today’s building codes & standards. I’d say they did an excellent job.
UPDATE: It’s not a service station at all! It was built by a local property management company as their office. Since they own a large part of the old downtown area I think it was a great way to show their commitment to the area.