Cloquet Gas Station - Exterior

Broadacre City in Minnesota

Frank Lloyd Wright is a renowned as a great architect. His city plans are less well-loved. In the 1930s he proposed Broadacre City, a new American landscape where everyone would have an acre of land, a car, and a gyrocopter. Fueling those cars requires gasoline. Gasoline requires Gas Stations. FLW, being an architect, had a gas station design. It was actually  built in Cloquet, Minnesota (map). Needing fuel, and liking Wright, I took the opportunity to acquire some black gold at this classic design. Now a full-service Spur Station   (on Main Street, but I can’t say much about the rest of the town, since we just passed through), it continues operation. A history of the station is here.

We didn’t exactly build Broadacre City (described in his book The Living City), though we didn’t exactly not build it either, aspects of it infuse post-War suburban America. But one element was exactly constructed. and remains attractive, as gas stations go, to this day. The dreams of what became the modern landscape evolved not simply from the minds of post-war developers, but had many pre-war antecedents, reflecting the agrarian/urban conflict dating back to at least Jefferson and Hamilton.

Cloquet Gas Station - Exterior

Cloquet Gas Station – Exterior

Cloquet Gas Station - Sign

Cloquet Gas Station – Sign

Cloquet Gas Station - Interior

Cloquet Gas Station – Interior