Frank Lloyd Wright’s Filling Station was completed posthumously in 2014. Designed in the 1920s, the filling station was planned for a Buffalo oil company, but was never built. Today it stands as an exhibit in the recently expanded Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum at Michigan Avenue and Seneca Street in downtown Buffalo.
The two-story, 1,600-square-foot filling station is built to Wright’s specifications and topped with authentic Tydol Oil signs. The station features 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. Wright referred to this design as “an ornament to the pavement.”
The Filling Station beautifully complements the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum’s mission of focusing on the impact of the automobile on modern America and is an unexpected and popular discovery for visitors, especially those unfamiliar with Wright’s Buffalo legacy. It joins two other Wright-designed structures completed posthumously after 2000—the Fontana Rowing Boathouse and Blue Sky Mausoleum. For Wright enthusiasts, these structures are the newest must-see treasures of a legendary American icon.