Mrs. Rod Davenport and the Davenport family have donated the 101-year-old, former Texaco Service Station located at 2871 Grant Avenue to the El Paso County Historical Society (EPCHS).
The station, restored by Mr. Davenport in 2009, was built in 1919 and later served as the site of the Radio TV Hospital.
In 2007, Mr. Davenport purchased the service station and spent the next year and a half restoring it. As decoration around its exterior, he added from his product line four reproduction gas pumps in the style of the 1930’s. He also purchased two streetlights dating to the 1920s that once lit Texas Avenue. The streetlights were placed in the pocket park next to the building.
Davenport, whose father operated a gas station at Richmond and Piedras during the 1930s, stated in 2009 that the renovation was “a work of love.” Mr. Davenport passed away in 2019. In January, his wife, Chris, and the Davenport family, donated the building and a reproduction gas pump to EPCHS. Mr. Will Harvey has donated another pump.
“We cannot thank the Davenport family enough for this wonderful gift and their long-time support of EPCHS,” says Melissa Hutson, president of the El Paso County Historical Society. “The Texaco Service Station is an icon in central El Paso and a landmark of the Manhattan Heights neighborhood. The fact that this gem remains standing is a testament to the Davenport’s commitment to historic preservation.”
Officials add that the service station needs some repairs. Recently windows were broken, and the façade was tagged with graffiti.
“EPCHS plans to make needed repairs and reinstall several of the gas pumps. The sixty-six-year-old non-profit organization anticipates hosting community events at the station and pocket park in the near future,” officials said.
The donation earlier this year fulfilled Mr. Davenport’s wish to preserve the station as a gift to the community that as he said “gave him so much” in his 92 years of life in El Paso. Mr. Davenport had a long and successful career as an antique dealer and appraiser.
He and Mrs. Davenport owned the Alameda Trading Post and Davenport’s Antiques in Canutillo.
EPCHS is currently accepting donations for the upkeep of the service station. Any community members or businesses willing to donate should visit the El Paso History website to donate or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.