Lindholm Service Station

Why Frank Lloyd Wright would ever bother to design a gas station is beyond the imagination of most. After all, he is famous for his designs of places where people live – not where they take their cars for gas and service… However, the design, from the Broadacre City Standardized Overhead Service Station of 1932, is part of a master scheme that Wright had devised in the 1930’s to create something of a Utopian, planned urban development – in New York City of all places – that he called Broadacre City. The gas station turned out to be the only part of Wright’s planned city to ever be built; Broadacre City itself never materialized.

Exterior of Lindholm Station

The New City

"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. Wherever service stations are located naturally these so often ugly and seemingly insignificant features will survive and expand. [The new city]... 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

Canopy  of Lindholm Station

The Service Station was built in Cloquet, Minnesota in 1956 for Mr. R.W. Lindholm; Wright had also designed a home ("Mäntylä") for the Lindholm family in 1952 (also in Cloquet). The station’s original design featured overhead gas lines that were changed to the ground-based pumps, due to safety concerns. There is another, very distinct feature of the original design that remains; a second floor waiting area for customers. The all-glass enclosure above the service area is unfortunately no longer used and is currently in a state of disrepair. The painted cement-block structure, with terne metal (a zinc-tin alloy) roof and cantilevered canopy is truly a unique structure, especially when one also considers the skylights and giant towering pylon that extends skyward from the roof. Although the service station is still in use, it is sadly in a very run-down condition and was for sale at the time the photos were taken.

Exterior of Lindholm Station

Related Articles, Media, Resources & Links

Browse these resources for more information about this FLW Building, it's history and information about the region.

More Information

Lindholm Station spire

Location

202 Cloquet Avenue
Cloquet, Minnesota

Map

Tours

Guided tours are not currently available but the structure still operates as a gas station so feel free to stop, get some gas and snap a photo of your car in front of the historic station. 

Quick Links

Frank Lloyd Wright's Buffalo Venture: From the Larkin Building to Broadacre City: A Catalogue of Buildings and Projects  

 

Frank Lloyd Wright Field Guide: Upper Great Lakes; Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan