Port Huron guy brings new everyday living to former gas station with dino venture

Catrina P. Smith

Sue Combine remembers what the Port Huron Sinclair fuel station was like in the 1950s when her dad managed it.  

She remembers jumping on the gas pump bells to her dad’s dismay, the Coca-Cola chest full of pop and icy chilly drinking water she loved to put her fingers in, and her father’s purple service truck that she sometimes rode in. 

And now someone is bringing new lifetime to that former gas station. 

“The dino project is what I connect with it,” reported T.J. Gaffney, the Port Huron resident doing the job on a “resto-mod” of the creating.

Port Huron resident T.J. Gaffney stands in front of the former Sinclair gas station he is doing a "resto-mod" of at 1402 Lapeer Ave. on Dec. 11, 2020.

Gaffney has been doing the job on the former gasoline station and dry cleaners at 1402 Lapper Ave. since late May of 2018, when he commenced pulling the façade off. The siding experienced been masking the creating for the improved element of 50 to 60 years. 

“No a single realized what was behind the façade here,” he reported. 

Gaffney owns Streamline Historic Solutions LLC, which does company histories, historic study, residence background investigate, historic challenge administration and much more.

In the past he has operated the small business out of his car and property, but he required a place to operate that would mirror what he does and enable the group, restore a aspect of Port Huron other than downtown and other popular renovated parts.

Port Huron resident T.J. Gaffney is doing a "resto-mod" of a former Sinclair gas station at 1402 Lapeer Ave.

“I felt as though some of the other neighborhoods in Port Huron were being remaining neglected in that rebirth period,” Gaffney said. 

He’s not turning the building back into a gas station but is reflecting and honoring the building’s past, he stated. 

There will be office environment house, a spot to meet with consumers and standard meeting room. The garage in the back again of the building will be a workshop, likely salvage materials will be shown in the former automobile bay and it will be section warehouse, portion revenue home. 

There are at this time wrong garage doors, canvas product with a digital print on it.  One aspect is a 1932 Ford and the other is a 1960 Chevrolet pickup truck.. 

Canvas material with a digital print on it serves as faux garage doors at the former Sinclair gas station at 1402 Lapeer Ave. in Port Huron on Dec. 11, 2020.

The latest venture has been the reproduction signage on the exterior. Gaffney had been doing the job towards starting interior get the job done when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and for a range of factors he made the decision to hold off on that work.

He is working on finding an authentic Sinclair sign pole and would like to get the famed Sinclair dinosaur to go on the property. 

His intention is to open towards the finish of 2021, but it depends on time and dollars. Right now, not which includes the property’s purchase charge, this is probably a $30,000 to $35,000 challenge, Gaffney mentioned. 

It is a challenging time, but this job is reflective that you can do a entire lot with a minor if you’re inclined to look outdoors the box, he claimed. 

A sign displaying the famous Sinclair dino at a building Port Huron resident T.J. Gaffney is bringing new life to at 1402 Lapeer Ave.

“I chose to glance at it from the point of view it can enhance what you now have,” he said. 

As the station has progressed, several older cars and trucks have gotten their shots there and Gaffney has been blown away by the neighborhood reaction. A number of folks remember likely to the station as a child, filling their bike tires or grabbing a Coke there.  

“They really have been, for a time period of time, a central assembly place for the community,” he said. 

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