Torch makes short work of Sequim's old pole sign
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Workers with Admiralty Crane take a torch to the cross bar of the old Gull service station sign in downtown Sequim on Monday.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– With the sparks of a cutting torch, one marker of Washington Street's U.S. Highway 101 past came down Monday morning.

Admiralty Crane crews took down a 30-foot pole that advertised the Gull station that once dispensed gasoline at the corner of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street.

Former workers from the old service station and city officials lined downtown sidewalks to see the pole come down.

Formerly one of many service stations that dotted Washington Street before Highway 101 was rerouted in 1999, the Gull station advertised gas prices on the pole in the 1970s, when the prices were $1 a gallon or less.

The station closed in the 1980s, and the sign had been wrapped in a white canvas for several years.

“It's the end of an era,” City Attorney Craig Ritchie said as the sign leaned over after the cutting torch sawed it off.

City code has outlawed pole signs like the Gull sign but cannot force property owners to take the old signs down.

Earlier this year, a similar pole sign in front of the old Texaco station farther east on Washington stoked controversy after Skunk Works Auto Detailing moved in.

The city denied Skunk a request to put its name and logo on the pole sign, which still advertises a lube and oil-change business.

The situation at the site of the old Gull station was different.

The city bought the lot from Gull Industries on June 14 for $215,000.

The city does not have a long-term plan for the property yet, City Manager Steve Burkett said.

Burkett noted the site is at a high-profile location, where the intersection sees as many as 10,000 cars pass daily.

City ownership of the lot gives City Hall control over how that corner is developed, he said, whether as a city facility or sold to a private developer.

For now, it will be used as an open area, potentially including the Saturday Open Aire Market and next month's Sequim Lavender Weekend.



Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 24. 2013 6:10PM
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