A Dallas landmark can be yours — for $3.7 million
The former art moderne GLOCO service station in the Cedars is now for sale.
The former Good Luck Oil Company (GLOCO) service station at Lamar and Cadiz Streets, not long after its opening in 1939.
By Mark Lamster
8:22 AM on Apr 8, 2022
There was a time when the Good Luck Oil Company (GLOCO) had more than 50 service stations in and around Dallas. That number is now down to one, and even its future is in doubt. A masterpiece in the streamline moderne style, it was built in 1939 and sits on the corner of Lamar and Cadiz, a whitewashed beacon marking the entry into the Cedars from downtown.
The building, known as GLOCO Station #5, was designed by the company’s owner A.E. “Amos” Wilemon, who was inspired by the forms of the Centennial Exposition at Fair Park. Two other stations just like it were built (on Ross and Fitzhugh avenues), but Wilemon’s twin brother, Roy, who was also his business partner, preferred a more conventional (and presumably less expensive) design. The structure is actually brick.
The Wilemons founded GLOCO in 1931, and it was predicated on a full service approach that sent three attendants out to every customer. According to a 1939 story in The News, the Wilemons “came to Dallas with the idea of running a filling station by combining old-fashioned Southern hospitality with modern service methods.”
The station’s luck ran out in 1973, when it was shuttered during the Arab Oil Embargo. It was landmarked in 1992. Shortly thereafter, it was converted into a residence. With that change, the neon signage that graced Its 35-foot, stepped tower (the words “GOOD” and “LUCK” separated by a vertical horseshoe) was removed, and the tile that faced its lower facades (black on the bottom, white above) was plastered over, making it a stripped-down Art Deco monument. The distinctive arched drive-through at the front was also enclosed at that time.
The former Good Luck Oil Company (Gloco) service station on Cadiz and Lamar streets..
The building is now for sale, and at $3.7 million, the price is steep. According to Matthew Otte, of the Cantera Real Estate Group, the owner is interested in seeing it preserved, and would be willing to “adjust his price,” for a buyer committed to its future. That is good to hear, but the prime site might be hard to resist for a developer with bigger ideas that might compromise the building.
“Thankfully the property is a city of Dallas landmark, so it is protected from demolition or exterior changes without the approval of the Landmark Commission,” says David Preziosi, the executive director of Preservation Dallas.
That doesn’t mean it should be kept as a residence. Returning the building to a public function would be welcome — perhaps as a restaurant. That would be a good, not to say lucky, resolution.