Some time soon, construction will begin on another Frank Lloyd Wright design that was never built in the architect’s lifetime. This soon-to-be-realized gem is a 1920s filling station that was planned for a Buffalo oil company, to be built next to the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum at Michigan Avenue and Seneca Street in downtown Buffalo.
The two-story, 1,600-square-foot filling station, about 40 by 40 feet, will be built to Wright’s blueprints and specifications. topped with authentic Tydol Oil signs. The station will feature a second story observation room with a fireplace, restrooms, an extensive copper roof, two 45-foot poles that Wright called "totems," red and white painted concrete, and overhead gravity fed tanks. Gasoline will not be pumped because of the overhead tanks and fireplaces. Wright called this design "an ornament to the pavement." Next to the gas station will be a re-creation of a 3,500-square-foot steel and glass greasing station.
The buildings will be an educational facility, not a working one, complementing the museum’s mission of focusing attention on the impact of the automobile on modern America. The greasing station will be used for exhibits, banquets and meetings.
The boathouse and gas station will join another previously unrealized Wright project, the Blue Sky Mausoleum in Forest Lawn, and the landmark Darwin Martin House Complex and Graycliff Estate, both undergoing multimillion-dollar restorations, making Buffalo one of the must-see centers of Frank Lloyd Wright's work.
Jim Fink, "Sandoro’s New Gas Station on the Wright Track," Business First of Buffalo, May 26, 2003, and "Pierce-Arrow Project Stays on Wright Course," Business First of Buffalo, March 15, 2004; "The Buffalo Filling Station," from the Web site of the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum. Also see Sharon Linstedt, "Adelphia Funding is Let Out of Limbo," Buffalo News, May 10, 2006, pp. A-1, 2.