The Breadth of a Circle

Counting down the days to the November 27 closing of the Circle K store at the southwest corner of Packard and Stadium. Here it is when fuel was a dollar a gallon. The Eighties?

“Hop-In (year unknown),” Ann Arbor District Library, (CC BY-NC-SA)

This station and the Citgo across the street are the last two survivors of an era when Packard was positively lousy with fuel stops, particularly in Larrytown, where a Marathon, an Amoco, and a Stop-N-Go all offered fill ups.

“Stop-N-Go Service Station, 1974.” Ann Arbor District Library, CC BY-NC-SA.

I’m a little confused about the above photo. It is identified as the Stop-N-Go service station, but the pumps are clearly located in front of the building next door, which is now Packard Auto Repair. Here are both buildings today, and by today, I mean summer 2016:

There was an Amoco here too, also with a garage!

“Sam’s Standard Service Station, Amoco, 1971.” Ann Arbor District Library, CC BY-NC-SA.

Most of the fuel stations buildings have been subsumed by the eclectic mix of eateries, music merchants, and auto repair, but the Stop-N-Go was later a video rental, a fish tank supply shop, and is now a dispensary as seen above. (I’m nearly positive I forgot an interim tenant. A pizza place?)

“Cook’s Sunoco Service, 1971.” Ann Arbor District Library (CC BY-NC-SA). That’s the Big Ten Party Store behind them, now Morgan & York.

The Circle K site is getting a dramatic redevelopment while slated to remain a fuel station/convenience store. It is anticipated to reopen April 1, with more fuel islands and a new store building with closer parking. It is not expected to keep the significant buffer between the store building and the backyards of the Iroquois Avenue residents — the new site plan calls for a number of new trees, so hopefully they help insulate Iroquois from the sound and light you expect to emanate from a 24-hour convenience store.

“Schuon’s Gulf Station, 1973.” Ann Arbor District Library, CC BY-NC-SA.

For a while, the building had this cool window with rounded corners. I think this faces west toward Stadium Boulevard.

I assume Circle K chose 11/27 as the last day because it keeps them open through the end of the Wolverines’ football season season, and most specifically The Game. This is the closest gas station to the stadium, and like most area gas stations, they recently added beer to their offerings (but not, like, great beer).

Personally I’m crossing my fingers that the new station’s soda fountain has either Coke Zero or Cherry Limeade.

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