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Lafayette, Indiana: Red Crown Mini-Museum

A restored 1920s gas station displays petroliana and nostalgic items from other old gas stations.

605 South St., Lafayette, IN
I-65 exit 172. West on Hwy 26 for 3.5 miles. Left on 6th St. One block south, on the southeast corner of 6th and South Sts.
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Visitor Tips and News About Red Crown Mini-Museum

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Gas station.

Red Crown Mini-Museum

Wow -- this place has seen better days. Signs are missing and rusted out, the items in the display cases have deteriorated from the sun, the front windows are covered with advertisements from a company looking to "improve Lafayette." There are still cars and memorabilia inside, but it looks like no one has stepped foot in there for ten years. I imagine the guy who owned it died, and this place died with it.

[Jennie R., 06/18/2015]

Needs some local preservationist love.

Red Crown vintage service station.

Red Crown Mini-Museum

The Red Crown Mini-Museum is a 1930s-era Standard Oil filling station that was restored in 1991 and turned into a "walk-by" museum by local businessman Don Stein. It features a couple of restored antique cars in the auto bays, a 1931 Ford Model B wrecker in the parking lot, and miscellaneous gas-station memorabilia inside.

Check the mailbox on the front of the building. There are supposed to be picture postcards and information sheets in there, but it was empty when I visited.

[Brady Smith, 04/29/2002]

The original building was constructed in 1927-28 by Standard Oil Company of Indiana. The Red Crown was threatened with destruction in the 1980s. In 1991, Stein restored the building at no cost to the public. A chronological history of the Red Crown Mini-Museum notes that over 1,000 man hours were spent hand-removing 41 layers of paint from the inside glazed brick walls. The "fallen roof was removed and replaced with red tile imported from Chillicothe, Ohio, where it had been in storage by Standard Oil for over 50 years."

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In the region:
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