Built between October 1930 and January 1931 in the Greek or Neoclassical Revival style, it replaced an older wooden, drug/general store at one time run by Abner B. Roberson. The town of Chapel Hill had to come to an agreement with the builder in order for the station to be constructed, as there were several mature elm trees on the property and people wanted them to be saved (they weren't FYI). Its first proprietor was Herbert S. Pendergraft. It opened for business in late February 1931. The service station was a Texaco station its entire existence.
Herbert's brother, Odis Pendergraft, took over the business after returning from service in the army in World War II. In late February 1949, the original station was demolished and a new "fauxlonial" style station was built between then and the end of 1949 (the architect is believed to have been Archie Royal Davis). Working at the service station at the time were Gilbert Tripp, Ardental Blackwood, and Ross Norwood.
In 1956, the business was purchased by UNC alumnus and former UNC head football coach George T. Barclay. Also on the property was a stand for the Tar Heel Cab Company from the mid-1950s to 1965. Ralph Teal was the proprietor in the late 1970s.
It ceased being a service station circa 1983, and became a convenience store named "Top of the Hill." It was demolished in July 1992, and remained a vacant lot until 1993-94 when the new "Top of the Hill building" was built on the site.
Circa 1940 postcard (via UNC)
Ad from February 28, 1931 (DTH)
View south, circa 1942 (photo by Bayard-Wooten, via UNC)
1932 Sanborn map excerpt
Architect's drawing, circa 1945-1949 (image via Wootten-Moulton via Steve Stolpen)
(From the February 7, 1956 Chapel Hill Weekly)
Circa 1960 aerial photo excerpt (via UNC)
View south east, circa 1960; station is at upper right of photo (via UNC)
View south east, January 1987 (photo by Charlotte Cannon/DTH)
View south, 1988 (via @DCHP_ChapelHill)
View south, 1988; at far left of photo (via @DCHP_ChapelHill)
July 9, 1992 (photo by Todd Scott/DTH)
Cleaning up the site, view east, 1993 (photo by and courtesy of Michael Benson, via Mark Chilton)