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  7. AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright

AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright

AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright
AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright, Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society
Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society

Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society © Jonathunder Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress +11

From the architect. An architect with upwards of 500 built projects, Frank Lloyd Wright was also recognized for his proposed Utopian vision of a new urban landscape, known as Broadacre City, which he developed throughout most of his life and described in his book The Disappearing City in 1932.

Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society
Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society

This proposition stood as both a planning statement and a socio-political scheme, in which each U.S. family would receive an acre of land from the federal lands reserves. Wright unveiled a detailed twelve by twelve foot scaled model that represented a four square mile section of the hypothetical community. The R.W. Lindholm Service Station is the only part of his Broadacre designs that was realized.

Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society
Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society

"Watch the little gas station.... In our present gasoline service station you may see a crude beginning to such important advance decentralization; also see the beginning of the future humane establishment we are now calling the free city. 

© Jonathunder
© Jonathunder

Wherever service stations are located naturally these so often ugly and seemingly insignificant features will survive and expand. ... is all around us in the haphazard making, the apparent forces to the contrary notwithstanding. All about us and no plan. The old order is breaking up..." -Frank Lloyd Wright, 1930

This idea of the de-centralized American urban landscape was not implemented directly, although it did foreshadow the decentralization that occurred after World War II. It was constructed in 1956 after the pre-fab Usonian James McBean Residence in Rochester, Minnesota and before the Marin County Civic Center in California.

Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress
Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress

The station takes its name from Ray Lindholm, who hired Wright to build it a few years after he completed the Lindholm's private home. The station has been handed down in the family throughout the years, and is currently owned by Lindholm's grandson, John McKinney. The estimated cost of a two-pump station at the time was $5,000, and this station about quadrupled this price at $20,000.

Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress
Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress

The copper roof undoubtedly catches the eye of passers-by, and the triangle canopy creates an arrow that subliminally directs the eye across the street towards the St. Louis River. 

Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress
Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress

This was intentional, as Wright wanted to connect the past with the present, river traffic to vehicular traffic. The large repair area allows four cars to be worked on at a time, complete with skylights that let in natural light.

One of the few deviations from the original plans found in the constructed gas station are that the gas pumps are found on the ground instead of overhead fuel lines, a detail changed to meet safety regulations. Another primary feature of the original design is a glassed-in waiting area on the second-story that sits atop the attendant's area. 

© Earl Leatherberry
© Earl Leatherberry

This space was constructed in the actual gas station but is not used in the proposed way, as Wright envisioned it to be a social or cultural center.

Construction was not supervised by Wright, as he was busy overseeing the building of the Guggenheim Museum in New York; instead his apprentice Robert Pond was in charge of the gas station. The R.W. Lindholm Service Station is still functioning, although it is now a Spur station. It is open to the public, located at the corner of the Minnesota State Highway 33 and the Minnesota State Highway 45 in downtown Cloquet.

Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress
Courtesy of jet lowe, © library of congress
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Megan Sveiven. "AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright" 23 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/121884/ad-classics-r-w-lindholm-service-station-frank-lloyd-wright/>
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16 Comments

Bruno Bellomo · July 11, 2011

AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright http://t.co/6coq9Nq vía @archdaily

Michael Huber · April 08, 2011

FL Wright gas station still going strong. http://bit.ly/eG7OfG #architecture

Jennifer Hammell · March 26, 2011

Amid 1950’s charm, still can’t miss Wright’s trademark horizontals in the R.W. Lindholm Service Station http://bit.ly/gQSCOs via archdaily

URBAIN trop URBAIN · March 25, 2011

Visiter un classique architectural: la station service Lindholm, par Frank Lloyd Wright http://ow.ly/4lCaV #architecture

Paul Litterick · March 24, 2011

GasFrankenstation: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright | ArchDaily http://t.co/P1sFJOB via @archdaily

scott · March 24, 2011

How in the world is that cantilever being supported! Crazy span distance, especially for its era.

Martha Spears · January 18, 2012 03:40 AM

I'VE STUDIED MR. WRIGHT'S DESIGNS I.E. FALLINGWATER, GUGGENHEIM BUT NEVER KNEW OF THIS GAS STATION OR HIS VISION OF BROADACRE CITY AND 1-ACRE FEDERAL LAND GRANTS! WHAT A BRILLIANT MAN.

mario · March 24, 2011

early po-mo

tomokazu hayakawa · March 24, 2011

R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright http://bit.ly/gn11rr

yasushi nakamura · March 24, 2011

R.W. Lindholm Service Station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright ? http://bit.ly/f1sNhq?Funny ,but so cute!

Architype Review · March 24, 2011

AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright: An architect with upwards of 500 built projects... http://bit.ly/eadEWh

Architecture+Molding · March 24, 2011

AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright: An architect with upwards of 500 built projects... http://bit.ly/exCgPR

ArchitecturePassion · March 24, 2011

AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright: © Minnesota Historical SocietyAn architec... http://tinyurl.com/4n2juth

paul lewis · March 24, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright http://archdai.ly/f90CKg #architecture

megan paige sveiven · March 24, 2011

AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright | ArchDaily http://t.co/sWEzHH6 via @archdaily

arch_related · March 24, 2011

AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright: © Minnesota Historical SocietyAn architect with... http://bit.ly/fELOEl

Bonarrd · March 24, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright http://archdai.ly/f90CKg #architecture

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