Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum
2012 Museum Addition / Wright-designed Gas Station
The Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum
263 Michigan Ave. at 201 Seneca St., Buffalo, New York
(Museum Official Home Page)
Addition - 2011 Construction Photos
The addition, scheduled to open in 2012, will house the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed filling station that is being constructed from original Wright plans (but never built)
"The Filling Station by Frank Lloyd Wright"
on Buffalo Rising, March 21, 2014
(online October 2017)
The station idea was conceived at a time when Americans were just getting used to the idea of traveling longer distances by car, and Frank Lloyd Wright was the man with the plan who felt that travelers should be met with the comforts of home when out on the road. That’s why this gas station comes complete with a living room and working fire place, as well as a top of the line wash rooms similar to what Wright would have incorporated into one of his homes.
“The station was designed in ’27-’28 and the plans sat in a drawer ever since,” Jim [Sandoro] told me. “The first station was supposed to be built in Buffalo at the corner of Cherry and Michigan. It was commissioned by William Heath of FLW’s Heath House, who owned the Tydol Gas Company – hence the Tydol illuminated neon sign and memorabilia.
"Of course Wright went wild with the design, incorporating gravity feed tanks with gas bells, copper materials… even the gas attendant had his own fire place.
"In the end, the station was too expensive, so the plans to build these across America were scrapped. Now we've built the only one in Buffalo so that people can see what Wright had envisioned."
"It was ahead of its time, featuring a second story observation room with fireplace, restrooms, copper roof, two 45 foot poles (Wright called them “totems”) overhead gravity-fed gas distribution system for fueling cars, and attendant's quarters with a second fireplace. The second story observation room provided patrons a comfortable place to wait as their vehicle was serviced." - Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum (online October 2017)
Intended to be a 24-hour service station ... The nighttime attendant slept in the basement
Copper gravity feed tanks and copper roof
TYDOL: “The first station was supposed to be built in Buffalo at the corner of Cherry and Michigan. It was commissioned by William Heath of FLW’s Heath House, who owned the Tydol Gas Company – hence the Tydol illuminated neon sign.
Vertical gas pumps
Visual gas holders
4400 pounds of copper used on the station
Ladies room at left
Gas attendant's basement room ... Intended to be a 24-hour service station ... The nighttime attendant slept in the basement
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