5 Oct 2009, 10:31pm


“What matters may not be beautiful”

An old San Antonio gas station, faded and flaking in the sun, weeds licking its foundation, has risen to the top out of almost 2,000 historical sites entered in a national online photo contest.


After months of submissions to the “This Place Matters” contest, the National Trust for Historic Preservation picked 12 finalists and last week put them up for a public vote. Voting ends this Friday, so anything can happen, but by today the San Antonio photo of a Humble Oil station led with 14 percent.

San Antonio Express-News researchers say the building, sitting at the southwestern edge of downtown at 1091 S. Laredo, was built around 1930 and closed in 1977. Since then, the walls have been a canvas for graffiti.

Audrey Johnson, who submitted the photo, said:

Why do places matter?  They matter because they are a part of our universal story, one of the ties that bind our history, culture and values together.  They reflect where we have been and where we are going.  I chose the Humble Oil Gas Station because I believe it represents this idea … what matters may not be beautiful.

To find out more:


Recent Posts