Wednesday, April 27

Who Designed It?

In northern Minnesota, on Highway 2 between Bemidji and Grand Rapids, there's a little town called Bena. There are only 140-or-so people who live there, and the highway through town has not yet been twinned like it has been almost everywhere else it goes. If you drove through this town on the highway, you might see a couple of children on rattletrap bicycles riding no-handed along the shoulder.

If you needed gas, you'd have to get it here at this gas station. If you needed bait for fishing, you'd find it here, too.

Can you look at this photo of Bena's old Standard Oil station and tell me who the architect was?

Even if you think you know no architects, you've still probably heard of this one. If you are up on architectural things, you may look at the photo of Bena's station and think it looks a bit like something designed by a certain famous 20th century architect, but you've read in all the books that the only gas station he ever designed is the one pictured on the right. Ignore the experts and go with your gut.

It's his forgotten gas station. Out in the middle of nowhere. I rode by it over and over growing up, and never knew what it was.

Still have no idea who the architect is? Go here to find out.

For more pictures of his buildings and homes, go here.

[Update: The Phillips 66 station in Cloquet is on the market for $725,000. It's your big chance to own something on the National Register of Historic Places.

And how about this new one designed by him going up in Buffalo, NY? No gas pumps, though.

For the gas station enthusiast (and who isn't?): Here's a whole page devoted to interesting gas stations.]

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