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National and State Registers of Historic Places

Hughes Conoco Service Station

Picture of property 400 SW Taylor St
Topeka (Shawnee County)
Listed in National Register 2011-07-05

Architect: Unknown
Category: specialty store
Thematic Nomination: Roadside Kansas

Built in 1930 at the corner of Fourth and Taylor Streets in Topeka, the Hughes Conoco Service Station was strategically located to be accessible from two primary arterial streets allowing the station to pull in traffic from all directions. Typical of early 20th-century gas stations, this one was built in the Tudor Revival-style to both blend in with its residential surroundings and serve as a corporate advertisement. The brick building features a round-arch entrance, narrow multi-light casement windows, and a steeply pitched side-gable roof. Its 198 square feet include a sales room and two washrooms. In 1956, Edwin Hughes leased the Conoco Station and added a cement block garage to the east elevation. Hughes became one of the first African Americans in Topeka to operate a business outside of Topeka’s established black commercial district and to operate a station selling gas supplied by a major petroleum company. The building was listed in the Register of Historic Kansas Places in 2009, and was nominated to the National Register as part of the “Roadside Kansas” multiple property nomination for its associations with local commercial and transportation history and for its architecture.

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