Picture this: You're a little kid living in New Orleans. One day, your father approaches you and asks, "What do you think about living in a gas station?" If you are anything like Robert Guthrie's son, you'd dismiss your dad as crazy and not give him a second thought. Robert Guthrie might not have been crazy, but he was an incredibly gifted artist - a trait that makes people do some pretty odd things, like purchase an old gas station and transform it into a comfortable living space.
Guthrie bought the old Sinclair gas station before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. While it sustained some damage during the storm, he was determined to fix it up and turn it into a home that he and his son would be proud to live in. A watercolor painter by trade, Guthrie viewed the gas station as his "biggest art project," allowing him to "incorporate items of cars and gasoline." Like any true artist, Guthrie was able to see the beauty in the broken-down building. What was once filled with rusty car parts and gasoline is now a gorgeous home that still retains elements of the property's original function. Car emblems become cabinet handles. Old headlights are reimagined as sconces. And just wait until you see what holds up the stairs.
Unfortunately, Robert Guthrie passed away in 2014. His gas station home still stands today as a monument to his uncanny ability to see beauty in the most unlikely places. Kathy Schorr, Guthrie's long-time partner, said in an interview with the Times-Picayune that, "it was his heart and soul in there." A beloved and dearly missed member of the New Orleans art scene, Guthrie's heart and soul will live on for many years to come.