What's Historic About Brookville, Pennsylvania?

The Old Pennzoil Station

By Shawn M. Ginkerman

The old Pennzoil Station is now the Main Street Medical Center.The building was built for Walter J. Sandt, a Pennzoil distributor. Walter was born in Brookville. His father was the first registered druggist in Brookville. He met his wife Gertrude after she hired him to be her chauffeur. Gertrude was one of the few college educated women in Brookville in the early 1900's.

The Pennzoil Building was designed in 1929 by an architect from DuBois, PA, named Russel Howard. French Norman Revival style was the type of architectural design. The building is known as Brookville's finest example of early 20th century roadside architecture.

The building contractor was John Carr, he also built the Presbyterian Church and many other buildings in Brookville. The building is built of hollow tiles with a cement finish. The roof shingles are heavy multicolored pieces of slate.

At the peak of the tower there was a weather vane of a car from 1929. The weather vane is no longer there. Walter did not want to hire an architect but Gertrude insisted. When Walter gave in and hired an architect Gertrude said the tower was too big and plain, so there were three holes put in the tower and a dove place in each hole. Today there is only on dove left. The back part of the building was built 18 years later in 1947.

The Pennzoil gasoline station was a car dealership until about 1980, from 1947 to 1961, they sold Cadillac and Oldsmobiles, and from about 1961 to 1980, they sold Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge.

The station had a number of names: Brookville Tire Company, Supertire Service, Auto Service Station, Autotorium, and Miller and Williamson Motors.

When the family sold the business ten years ago, it was the oldest Pennzoil dealership in the world. In the early 1980's to 1995, there was a 7-Eleven Station in the back half.

The building has always been in the family. Today it is owned by Waler J. Sandt's Estate. One section of the building is currently being used to sell medical supplies while the other section has doctor's offices in it.

The building is now painted cream and green because those were the original Pennzoil colors.

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