Verkehrs- und Architekturgeschichte
They changed their appearance more than any other type of architecture through their lifetime. At first this kind of chain supply made their appearance in the United States of America, now roundabout a 100 years ago. In Europe, the first petrol stations (got it?)were built in the 20ies, at first as gasoline pumps standing near to or on top of the board walk, shortly later changing to real stations wheras pumps were banned from the sidewalk due to being a real nuisance to pedestrians. In Germany the first real gasoline station was built in Hamburg in 1923.
It seems every ten years appearance of gasoline stations changes a 100 per cent. In fact they grew larger with an illumination hardly to ignore. Today, when you approach them from the distance they do not look far from an unidentified flying object having just landed. The styling of the architecture changes so rapidly you are not able to find gasoline stations which had been a standard just 20 years ago!
Imagine you encounter a Minol-station which was standard in the year 1990! Here is just one to remember.
But don't worry, gentlemen. There are still some very old buildings around, although most of them have been deprived of their petrol pumps.
Even in Berlin you can find the pre-war-type. The two pictures are showing the original building near the Schloss Schönhausen in Pankow. Even the writing "Rauchen verboten" (smoking prohibited) is legible!