Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Aetna/Deem Gas

Here's an example of a nice old abandoned building that someone actually did the right thing with.

Originally this was an Aetna gas station (in those days Aetna was an oil company, not an insurance firm) and later a Deem station, which was the forerunner of today's J.F. Deem Oil & Gas. It was Middletown's very first gas station.

According to the sign out front, after the 1930s the building went through other tenants such as Wright's Dry Cleaners, a taxicab company, and the Middletown Medical Center (must have been just an info kiosk - I don't see what else a medical center could do with this building that's smaller than my living room), then ended up in the city's hands in 1996. The building was restored to some semblance of its 1920s-30s glory and today it stands empty but impressive, as a sort of museum exhibit unto itself.

This mummified gas station can be found at the corner of Main Street and Harrison Avenue in downtown Middletown.


  1. If you want to know more about the restoration, Sam Tucker is your man. He's on the Middletown City Council and wrote a pictorial history of the city a few years ago, complete with past/current images of many of Middletown's buildings.

    Another restoration project currently in the works is the Middletown Fire Department's first fire engine, a 1941 Ford Pumper, which had been sold decades before, but was recently found rusting in a field and repurchased.