Out of gas: The 1920s filling station

Berlin is forever itching to be scratched. Scratch beneath the surface, you never know what you’ll find. Hidden courtyards hold wonderful secrets and historical gems, like this antique gas station from a bygone era masked by a nondescript grey building.
The Tankstelle at a central location in Berlin hasn’t been pumping gas since the Watergate scandal broke, though I’m not sure the two are connected. The reasons for its closing were not immediately made clear by the dude eying me suspiciously as I took my photos…
“It was opened in 1927, closed in 1972 and the tank over there could hold 1,000 liters’ Benzin,” he told me.
In hindsight, 1,000 liters doesn’t seem like much, so maybe that’s the reason it closed. Or perhaps I misheard him.
There ain’t much information available about this place, possibly one of the reasons it has survived so well, along with the watchful neighbors living in the in surrounding Wohnungen.
It’s not really the type of thing you can easily trash in any case. You’d need Molotov cocktails, and the last place you’re going to find gasoline for Molotov cocktails is a disused gas station where there hasn’t been any for more than 40 years.
The Tankstelle is still used to a degree – the garages on two levels serve as Parkingplatze by people who don’t want to leave their precious vehicles out on the anarchy-filled streets – but the petrol pumps themselves have been idle so long there’s no chance of coaxing them back to work.
There’s one gas (or petrol, depending on your persuasion) pump on one side and four all bunched together on the other, clearly not ideal for filling four vehicles at the same time.
That may have been fine in 1927 when the roads weren’t overrun with traffic but it would certainly have become a flaw in the business model as motorized transport became ubiquitous in the 1970s. Aha! Perhaps we’ve stumbled on the reason for its demise… Well, if it wasn’t that, the oil crisis of 1973 would probably have finished it off the following year anyway.
I was told of this place someone who asked me not to divulge its location as he doesn’t want to see it destroyed by senseless idiots. I’m sure all you lot would treat this antique Tankstelle with the respect it deserves but still, a promise is a promise.

If you do know where it is, please keep it to yourself. Any comments leaving maps or directions on how to find it will be deleted, in keeping with a promise.

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What makes you think there'd be any senseless idiots reading this?

Thats a really unnecessary comment.

This is a great site, keep up the good work!

I think it was meant in jest, but thanks for leaping to my defence!

There are, of course, only sensible idiots reading this site.

Dear Irish Berliner,
Thank you so much for all your interesting articles... I love them! Where is this filling station located in Berlin exactly?

If I was going to write that here, I may as well just write it in the post!

Great post! Though if you want to hide the location, delete your eighth picture, it's kind of in it..

Thanks Andrea! It's done. I had to delete the first one too due to your eagle eyes.
I presume you took note of the location? ;)
Grüße aus Bulgarien

No worries. Haha no, I found the address on google last week before I realised it was actually in the pictures that the Digital Cosmonaut put up.

Grüße aus Schweden,

Why do you try to hide the location of this place? I dont understand why

Have you ever visited abandoned places in berlin? Look at the eisfabrik, the teufelsberg field station, the iraq embassy or brauerei bärenquell. Then have a look at these nice gas petrol station. Do you really want that many people know where to find it?

As I wrote already pretty clearly (I thought) in the post, I was told of this place by a person who asked me not to reveal its location.

Places don't get trashed because you write about them. They get trashed because they are out of the way and easy targets for vandals. Personally, I think the gas station would be fine regardless of whether I gave its location here. It's surrounded by neighbors for a start. But I already gave a promise not to reveal its location.

I am not asking for the location of the place. I am compiling information about Urban Exploring for my own project and I was interested in your reasons. Thank you for your replies! I am going to look for the place by myself and then not telling anyone! :)

Alright, no worries. Best of luck with your project.

I have been to places far away from everything and they had been trashed because they are known by too many people. I know places at Berlin which are in very good condition and they're next to important bus/s-bahn/u-bahn stations. If places become known by too many people, also bad people will hear about these places. You know what happened with "Dr. Anna L."? It is not the only case where too much information and too many blog posts leaded to a totally destroyed location. So I hope you decide carefully which lost place should still be lost and which can be visited by every kind of person.

You make it sound like there's a choice in deciding which places remain "lost" and which don't. They're not lost for a start. They didn't fall out of someone's pocket. They're simply abandoned, and very often they don't stay abandoned for long before they're marked for development or demolition.
It's unrealistic to expect these places to stay the way they are when you first find them - they just don't.
I've written about this before. Please see the "about" page above for more on my reasons behind publishing the locations.
And thanks for your comments/concern.

In the last picture one can still see the words to enter into Google Maps …

This place will be safe for a long while... check out the address on the googlemaps streetsight... lol... You really need to know that its there to notice it! :D (I kinda wrote this post as obscure as possible, without giving any of the clues, lol) Greets, Marianne! :D

Visited the place today. Looks exactly as the pictures. A lot of people did see me there, but no one commented on my photography. Thanks for the tip!

sorry to say but there ar urban locations and many ppl have no good intensions when they visit i have seen how many locations have been ruind en stolen parts of the location under the real urbanners we dont share the adress just for all eyes

Kudos to the "real urbanners" but I'm not pretending to be a real one or otherwise. You don't need to read the addresses if it upsets your sense of urbanner honour.
See the previous comments and the "about" page for my reasons behind publishing addresses.

Dear Irish Berliner,

me too, I'm in deep concern about this location! Did you already oblige The Berlin Brandenburg Film Commission (bbfc.de) to remove this from their database of locations? This "Tankstelle" is listed there!!! Besides, the design of these gasoline pumps is rather 1950's or 1960's than 1920's...


I'm French living in Paris and come in Berlin in one month for four days.
I come only to urbex the whole time.
If someone knows this place and agrees to take me, I will be very nice.
(Of course, I'm the king of respectful urbanner.)
I'll bring you to cool places if you come to paris! ;-)

Anyway if you want to go somewhere else, i'll be there from april 9th to 13th! jjim85ATmsn.com

Nice pictures...
Since someone mentioned the present state of the Field Station Berlin (Teufelsberg) - have a look here: http://www.neo-tokio.de/v/FSB-2004/
There you can see how it looked right after being abandoned.

The person that asked you not to reveal the address doesn't know this fuel station is quite famous. The web is full about it and is offered as location by the Berlin film commission.

Nevertheless, I made a promise and intend to keep it. Thanks for the comment.

I found it but I will never tell anyone where it. Beautiful.

Hello, guys! I am Igor from Russia. My biggest hobby is photographing and I am IN LOVE with this place! This is just what I wanted for my next photosession. And I am coming to Berlin this weekend!!!
Please, please, please let me know the location of this gas station!!! You can send it to my e-mail not to dispose it to public: igorshanti@gmail.com.
Hope for your help so so much and thanks in advance!

Found it earlier today by accident and it's a good thing the location isn't revealed here. Just keep your eyes open folks and you might find places like this not mentioned on the site when doing groceries ;)

NOTE: I was there last Sunday. Unfortunately, all gas pumps have been removed. There is nothing more to see!

Hi there,
Hi there, great work and fantastic photos!

Can you please explain how you solved the legal issues about taking photos on private properties and making them available to us? I have many photos of abandoned places in Germany and I actually dunno how to put them online without getting in trouble..


Apparently this place has been razed to the ground... Only tarmac left where the petrol pumps were. Nothing special left to see anymore, sorry.

I went there today (20 June 2016), and all the gas pumps have been removed :(

I visited the location and I was shocked that everything disappeared. I had just seen few weeks ago on on Arte TV a documentary about old gas station and this one was featured. Stupid me I did not read the comments of june. So this is how the location looks now:

What a dreadfull waste of history that this place has now had pumps removed. I found the location by careful detective work siting on my backside in from of my computer in the south of England. Germany was always a place I would love to spend a long holiday exploring abandoned buildings. Does anyone know what has happened to the old Wartburg, Trabant and Barkas factory in the old DDR ?

and the address is listed on other websites (about Berlin) as well.. I just checked 1 I know

The pumps are gone now so it's kinda immaterial at this stage.

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