Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ghost Building #4 Revealed

The gas station shown below, which began as an auto supply store in 1922, stood at 720 Washington Street, just north of Beacon Street behind what is now the Fireplace restaurant. (The auto supply business actually began in the space now occupied by the restaurant, in 1917.)

The building was torn down in 1998 and replaced by a parking lot. But the cupola from the gas station was saved through the efforts of Barbara Soifer, long-time owner of The Little Swiss House jewelry store.  (Soifer was know as "the mayor of Washington Square" for her efforts to reshape and promote the neighborhood.)

Soifer's dream to restore the cupola was not realized before her death from cancer in 2009. But friends and neighbors saw her idea through to fruition, and the cupola was installed in 2010 on the Beacon Street median, across from the Fireplace, and dedicated in Soifer's memory on First Light 2011.

Gas station cupola in Washington Square

Memorial inscription for Barbara Soifer


  1. I'm so happy to see this! Barbara was a lovely human being!

  2. The Gas Station was referrd to Alex's in the 1960'.s by my family. The owner, Alex was a very kind man who always gave each of us a quarter when we stopped for gas. A big deal then when hersey bars were 5 cents each.