Saturday, February 20, 2021

built to last, the old San Francisco 1926 Mohawk gas station at 16th Avenue and Irving Street, is gone. Opened in 1926 by Charles Kleinclaus, his grandson took over after his 2 years in the Army during WW2

things went all to hell when a GM manager in charge of dealerships informed the little gas station and Pontiac new and used dealership that mom n pop dealerships weren't going to be in the GM roster anymore, but if they opened a 3 car showroom, they could keep their dealership... so the family bought the empty corner lot across the intersection, and then?
The city decided to seize it by eminent domain, to use as a fire dept location, for hook and ladders.
In an instant, the dealership was lost, the property just purchased was lost, as was the money sunk into the new property and new built dealership building. 

above, 1968

After that, it went through many owners and more problems caused by the city, that caused it to shut down, again:

Frank and Jim’s Mohawk Service (1960), 

La Prath Mohawk Service Gas Station (1963)

and Louis (later Lou’s) Mohawk Service (1964). 


One of the last people to run the station (from 1964 to 1980) was Ludwig “Lou” Glowacki. 

In an odd situation, the design of the old gas pumps could only show gas selling for less than 59.9 cents a gallon. But gas prices had reached $1 a gallon. 

For a few years, many stations had been “half-pricing” their gas—doubling the price shown on the pumps. By this time, the Mohawk station on Irving was engaged in quadruple-pricing. 

The signs in the window stated that “the price per gallon and the amount of sale is one-quarter of the amount it should be.” 

But a new city law required that all old pumps be replaced by new ones before July 1, 1980. Glowacki could not afford the estimated $6,000 required for the upgrade.


this photo was taken days before some asshole flew a destruction permit through city hall to get rid of the impediment to greedy developers

So, instead of a cool old gas station, there's an empty lot waiting for a buyer.

video at

Even a post this small took an hour and a half to make, fyi. 


  1. It was a beautiful little brick gas station...I used to fill up there all the time, back in the day. The big enamel Mohawk sign was beyond cool.

  2. Thanks for your efforts,they are worthwhile if they can at least save these places in our memories, thanks to people like you.I discover something new almost every day on your site,and I'm extremely grateful for all your leg-work that saves me from doing it.

    1. you're welcome! Wow, thanks for the great compliment!

    2. I second that Jesse. Billy is 100% right. Thank you sir. On anther note, it is so sad to see these little gems of Americana keep being destroyed and disappear right before our eyes. Where the hell is the Historical Society, or as I've heard it referred to, the Hysterical Society, to step up and save these wonderful building. Guess no one is interested in an old gas station.

  3. How can such a beautiful piece of history almost 100 years old not fall under historic preservation. It's a damn shame!

  4. My great grandfather owned that gas station for many years, Cecil Haight and my grandpa worked for him. It's listed in the census and on his war draft card.

    1. wow! I hope you have cool photos, and great stories about them and their time there. It must have been pretty cool to have a gas station to hang out at back when a real mechanical car guy could be a huge help to people with simple car problems that anyone with a set of tools could fix