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Before Village Hall, A Phillips 66 Gas Station

Western Springs residents were accustomed to filling up their tanks on the northeast corner of Wolf Road and Hillgrove Avenue.

On October 18, 1966, Western Springs residents were asked to vote on a $900,000 referendum to: (1) purchase the corner property shown above, (2) construct a new Village Hall, (3) build a new village garage near the Tollway and Hillgrove Avenue, and (4) renovate the 1950’s village garage into a modern fire station.

In the process, the old 1927-era fire station (the white building to the left of the Phillips 66 station) was to be demolished. The referendum passed easily and the work proceeded during the following year. 

Prior to these changes, the historic water tower was home to both the police department (first floor) and the courtroom for the Cook County circuit court (second floor).

According to reports in the Western Springs Historical Society archives, this resulted in “… a spectacle of witnesses, plaintiffs, attorneys, and culprits standing in long queues (on the circular stairway) awaiting court calls.” Meanwhile, the village administrative staff was housed in the village garage.

Also shown above is the new Village Hall as it appeared shortly after its completion in 1967.

Darren McRoy August 03, 2011 at 08:25 PM
Technically, there is still the Mobil at 55th/Wolf.
Joseph R. Martan August 03, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Darren: Technically I suppose you're correct. But that still makes stations like those at Gilbert and 47th (the LaGrange side) and Gilbert and 55th (the Countryside side) a lot closer to anyone living north of the tracks.
Darren McRoy August 04, 2011 at 03:30 AM
And cheaper. That Mobil always seems to have prices jacked a good $0.15/gal above the regional average!
John Devona August 05, 2011 at 02:52 PM
Joseph, FYI ... years ago I spoke to Frank Benak before he coverted his small downtown Shell station into a repair-only business. He said that Shell's corporate office did not want to re-new the franchise for any station that wasn't pumping a high volume of gasoline, which they weren't abel to do. I suspect thart might be a reason for some of the others closing, too. Also, the proeprty just keeps getting more valuable for other businesses . John Devona
Joseph R. Martan August 05, 2011 at 03:51 PM
John: Thanks for the info. You just gotta love those big corporations....NOT!

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