Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


Gasoline service stations, motor courts, and drive-in theaters were all part of the mid-twentieth century “car culture” by the time Richard and Maurice McDonald’s trademark Golden Arches were first illuminated in 1953 in Phoenix, Ari­zona. Stanley Clark Meston, more a pragmatic problem-solver than a “modern” architect, designed the Golden Arches to be seen from a fast-moving automobile. They were much more, however. They became the chain’s greatest advertising tool, and more than one thousand pairs dotted the country by 1955. Led by the irrepressible Ray Kroc (1903-1984), McDonald’s – and its famous Golden Arches – eventually spanned the globe. In Pennsylvania, a classic McDonald’s restaurant stood in Beaver Falls, Beaver County, until it was demolished, itself a victim of progress.



Not everyone’s dreams were crushed by the Great Depression. In 1933 – the year President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a federal bank holiday – Dick Dunkle opened his gasoline station in Bed­ford, Bedford County. But his was no ordinary service station building. Dunkle’s Gulf is an outstanding ex­ample of art deco architecture and possesses the hallmarks of the eclectic style: crisp, geometric patterns, bold ornamental details, exotic materials, and unusually vibrant colors. Despite the country’s grim financial climate, Dunkle’s Gulf, like other “modern” buildings and structures, such as the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building, celebrated the rise of commerce and the promise of technology. Moreover, the architectural style of the service station, still operated by the Dunkle family, signaled speed and modernity for passing motorists on the Lincoln Highway.