90 Years Later, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fuel Station Finally Built in Buffalo, NY

Posted On Fri, June 27, 2014 By

Posted On Fri, June 27, 2014 By In Starchitecture, Transportation, Upstate

Filling up the ole’ gas tank is not a glamorous job, and usually not a task that leaves one marveling at the surrounding architecture.  But in 1927, Prairie-style extraordinaire Frank Lloyd Wright put together plans for a fuel filling station in Buffalo, New York that would leave even the most seasoned driver awe struck.

Now, almost 90 years later, the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum has realized Wright’s vision and constructed the station as a one-of-a-kind installation housed in a 40,000-square-foot glass and steel atrium, made possible by a $6.3 million state grant. The arts-and-crafts gas station, the third Wright recreation in Buffalo, makes a nod to Native American design and thoughtfully mixes practicality with visual appeal.

Frank Lloyd Wright Buffalo Filling Station

Frank Lloyd Wright was a well-known automobile lover, designing many of his projects with the car in mind.  The Buffalo Filling Station is one of two gas stations he planned.  The other, the R.W. Lindholm Service Station in Cloquet, Minnesota, was finished in 1965.

The Buffalo station was originally planned for the corner of Michigan Avenue and Cherry Street.  It features a second-story observation room meant to be a comfortable place for customers to wait as their vehicles are serviced.  The salmon-colored, poured concrete building boasts a fireplace, restrooms, copper roof, two 45-foot poles that Mr. Wright referred to as “totems,” and an overhead, gravity-fed gas distribution system for fueling cars.  A red neon-like sign hangs above the structure and advertises then-popular gas brand “Tydol.”

Visitors can ogle at the utopian-like gas station as of today, Friday, June 27 at the Pierce-Arrow Museum in downtown Buffalo.

[Related: Temporary Treasures: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Demolished New York Buildings]

[Via A|N Blog]

All images courtesy of Pierce-Arrow Museum

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