R. W. Lindholm Service Station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lindholm Oil Company Service Station
R. W. Lindholm Service Station is located in Minnesota
R. W. Lindholm Service Station
R. W. Lindholm Service Station is located in the US
R. W. Lindholm Service Station
Location 202 Cloquet Avenue, Cloquet, Minnesota
Coordinates 46°43′17″N 92°27′39″W / 46.72139°N 92.46083°W / 46.72139; -92.46083Coordinates: 46°43′17″N 92°27′39″W / 46.72139°N 92.46083°W / 46.72139; -92.46083
Area less than one acre
Built 1958 (1958)
Architect Wright, Frank Lloyd
NRHP Reference # 85002202[1]
Added to NRHP September 11, 1985

The R. W. Lindholm Service Station is a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed service station located at 202 Cloquet Avenue in Cloquet, Minnesota. The station, which was built in 1958 and is still in use, is the only filling station designed by Wright. It was originally part of Wright's utopian Broadacre City plan and is one of the few designs from that plan which was actually implemented. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Wright had designed station owner Ray Lindholm's house in 1952, and, knowing Lindholm worked in the oil business, presented him with a proposal to design the gas station envisioned as part of Broadacre City. Lindholm, seeing an opportunity to beautify gas station design, agreed to his plan, and Wright completed his design in 1956. Despite the importance of gas stations to the Broadacre City concept, the building was the only service station Wright designed.[2]

The station opened in 1958 under Lindholm's name; it later became a Phillips 66 station and influenced the company's design plans for other filling stations.[2] It currently operates under the Spur brand.[3] The station was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 11, 1985, for its architectural significance.[1]


In his original plans for Broadacre City, Wright designed his service stations to be community social centers and an integral part of his utopian ideas. His design of the Lindholm Service Station reflects these plans and represents a then-unconventional approach to filling station design.[4] A cantilevered copper canopy extends over the gas pumps; the angular end of the canopy points to the St. Louis River, a feature Wright intended to symbolically connect river transport to the automobile.[3] While Wright had planned to install overhead gas pumps suspended from the canopy to add space, local safety regulations compelled him to install conventional ground-based pumps.[2] An observation lounge with glass walls is located beneath the canopy; this space was originally intended to be the social center envisioned in the Broadacre City plans.[3] The station's service bays are built from stepped cement blocks; the stepping, as well as the recessed mortar between rows of blocks, provides a horizontal element to the building. Skylights allow sunlight into the service bays.[2]

The station ultimately cost $20,000, roughly four times the cost of the average filling station at the time.[3] Its construction was only a partial success for Wright, as his vision of the gas station as a social center never took hold.[4] However, several of the gas station's design elements, particularly the triangular cantilevered canopy, became common in later Phillips 66 stations.[2]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Holum, Liz (December 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: R. W. Lindholm Service Station" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Sveiven, Megan (March 23, 2011). "AD Classics: R.W. Lindholm Service Station / Frank Lloyd Wright". ArchDaily. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Fromson, Daniel (July 20, 2011). "Frank Lloyd Wright's Forgotten Gas Station of the Future". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 28, 2014.