The world's only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed gas station

I like to learn at least one new thing every day, and this is definitely new information for me.


Wright was kind of an oddball architect. Neat looking gas station, but the form over function of his work always annoyed me. Look at the awning. Hey, nice, an awning, to keep the rain off… Oh, no, wait, it comes to a point at the pump so anyone pumping gas gets wet.

I stayed at a Wright-designed hotel in Mason City IA once. They’d just finished renovating it. Part of renovating it involved putting a structural support beam in that should have been in from the beginning, but Wright left it out because… Well, probably he was busy making it look cool. It has weird shallow-step staircases leading to a lobby overlook that you’d have to be about 2 feet tall in order to appreciate because another room blocks the view.

Neat place, but impractical and apparently as originally designed, not terribly safe. Maybe I’m jaded because many years ago I worked in Mason City, and there’s a lot of Wright stuff there, and all of it looks cool but has impracticalities that would get annoying if you occupied the place day to day.


He was an odd-ball, but some of his stuff is phenomenal. On my bucket list is to visit his Waterfall house in PA someday.


take that road thru cloquet when you drive from mpls to canada. long drive for fish.

Back in that day, it was an employee who filled the tank, washed the windshield, and checked the oil and tires. The well-being and comfort of employees was a low priority. Then came the 1930s and some degree of respect for the needs and rights of working people.

I wish I could remember how to cut and copy so I could send you a link but If you just Google Frank Lloyd Wright gas station, Buffalo NY you will find out that there are more than one.

Yeah we stayed there a couple times too for a family reunion. Nice place but I didn’t care for the breakfasts. They are quite proud of their Wright heritage down there. He tried to blend the houses in with the surroundings so it looks like it was supposed to be there. I dunno, why pretend it’s part of a cliff? Kinda like I never understood why they make plastic to look like wood. Either just use wood or make plastic look like plastic. I really don’t know much about the guy though.

Heh heh. An observation deck so the attendants could watch for customers in comfort? Huh. From my memory of attendants, they were in an out all day long. No time for a cup of coffee or relaxing. They were busy people. Maybe he had a fire pole so they could just race down to the ground instead of stairs. I dunno.

his kid, who copied dads designs had a house built in a toney suburb in SW mpls. on 8 acres of land. some “enlightened type” is buying house and moving it to the FLW museum grounds in pennsylvania. at least we can now build tri-plexes on the valuable land. mpls city council does not like roads or single family houses or cars or anything trump related
they are going to take house apart. should be intersting to see how it comes apart

A definite case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, ha, ha, he, he…

Yeah they don’t like drive-throughs or gas stations either and have banned them and electricity is being discussed. Oh and don’t like police downtown either so gangs of roving thugs abound. Kinda like the ole days going back to the SJW Tony Boza police command who allowed the gangs to get established in the first place. Just poor kids that need a basket ball hoop and everything will be fine. As the 60’s song went “When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

Oh oh, I’m going to get flagged again, but needs saying. Coming to a location near you.

Drove (car related :grin:) to Springfield IL for a weekend a few years ago. There is a Frank Lloyd Wright house maintained as a museum. Interesting place with a handsome, distinct exterior. But the interior is surprisingly dark. And because the interior design has lots of “furniture” built in, including narrow single beds, there is little to no room for or flexibility for arranging furniture, hanging artwork, or doing renovations or upgrades in later years. The dim lighting is gloomy. The kitchen is abysmal by modern standards. But the art deco glass is impressive even though it adds to the deficiency of light.

Speaking of glass, from there drive to (car related :grin:) the First Presbyterian Church and take the tour to see beautiful, vibrant Tiffany stained glass windows.

If you go to see those along with all the well known Lincoln historical sites and museum, you can then easily drive (car related :grin:) to St. Louis where you can drive across (still car related :grin:) any of several impressive bridges, or one of several less than impressive bridges, spanning the mighty Mississippi River and see always stunning views of the Gateway Arch.

Happy sightseeing motoring. (See, I kind of kept it car related. :rofl:)


In the early 60’s our little town had a major-brand gas station (Mobile I think) that advertised they’d complete the fill-up job within a certain number of minutes after you pulled next to the pump, including checking the tire pressure and oil, otherwise you’d get something free, car wash or something. I don’t think we ever got the free car wash. When we pulled in three attendants would immediately come to the car, one pumping gas, one checking the tires, and one checking the oil. It’s a little different now, eh?

I did observe service like this in recent times. Bangkok Thailand.

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Didn’t know about that. Just took in the Lincoln Museum, house, and cemetery. Only had a day though. Great place to get a tire patched too.

I’ve been to Falling Water, it’s spectacular and definitely worth the price of admission

My former roommate was a Wright fanatic; to me, the furniture looked as uncomfortable as it was. May of his other designs we NOT all that. FLW was just another architect in my eyes. I like Art Deco architecture better.

Everybody has their own tastes. Personally I HATE Art Deco. But it is popular…so it’s just my opinion.

Most of our house is Mission Furniture from Stickley. Sometimes we use to wait for a Stickley sale when we visited family back in Syracuse. Stickley’s factory and store is in a suburb of Syracuse (Manlius NY).

When we retire we’re actually thinking of building a Mission Style house.