The Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce and MainStreet organization have undertaken a new initiative to beautify the city. Local volunteers want to dress up the handful of old gas stations around town, designing the buildings with images of what the gas stations looked like in the glory days of the Route 66 era.
Chamber executive director Bob Beaulieu said the idea was hatched on Saturday morning when a group of volunteers painted the gas station next to the chamber of commerce. The original goal was simply to give the building a two-tone paint job, but Beaulieu said volunteer Richard Talley, who co-owns Motel Safari, had a different idea.
"As we were nearing the end, Richard came up with the thought of, 'Why don't we paint it like the old Whiting Brothers (gas station)?' Then we stopped all of the two-tone thoughts and said, 'Yeah, let's work on that.' Then I called the owner and got permission to work on that, and they said yes."
Beaulieu said Doug Quarles, who painted most of the murals around town with his wife Sharon, already has a visual concept for the station.
"He's already come up with the format with this particular building. We're using the Whiting Brothers' old shield and bar. It's going to look good. It's going to look really good," Beaulieu said.
Richard Talley said the Whiting Brothers station is one of two gas stations that the group hopes to have finished before winter when it will become too cold to paint outside. He said volunteers will continue the painting initiative in the spring, and he hopes to eventually see all of the closed gas stations in town decorated.