Editorials

Something to shout about: Teapot gas station saved

The little teapot along Interstate 82 in Zillah is a familiar landmark for folks traveling to and from the Tri-Cities to Yakima and beyond.

It's hard to miss. The Teapot Dome gas station is a cute and quaint roadside marker, a kind of kitschy construction harking back decades.

The nostalgic structure reminds us of a time before gas stations became full-service grocery stores and fast food outlets in addition to dispensing fuel and directions.

And while the teapot pumped its last tank of ethyl years ago, it is getting a new life and a new home as a visitors center in Zillah.

The city bought the teapot for $125,000 three years ago, and started working on a plan to showcase the highly recognizable structure. A $287,000 federal grant will make that plan a reality.

The Teapot Dome will move to a one-acre lot near the Civic Center. But it's not as easy as just picking up the pot and moving it. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and that designation comes with many requirements for its care and preservation.

Engineers will sort out how best to move the structure without damaging it. We're sure the moving day will make for a great photo opportunity. After all, it's not every day you see a giant teapot being trucked down the road.

With some sprucing up and repairs, the pot appropriately will be made into a visitor's center.

When the project is complete, a park, benches and other features will attract guests to the site. City planners will include replicas of gravity-style fuel pumps, with the idea to create a place for visitors to take pictures of their car as if the Teapot Dome was a working service station.

Long-term maintenance of the park and visitors center will require additional funds, but we're sure these determined city leaders will find a way to sustain the site. They should be applauded for finding a creative way to save a beloved landmark.

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