In 1927, world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed a unique fuel filling station intended for the corner of Michigan Avenue and Cherry Street, downtown Buffalo. The station was never built.
In 2002, initial planning began to construct the filling station as a one-of-a-kind installation to complement the automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles on display at the existing museum. Jim Sandoro and architect, Patrick Mahoney, traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to explore Frank Lloyd Wright archives to locate drawings related to the Buffalo design. Rights to build from drawings that were found were secured.
Frank Lloyd Wright called his design "an ornament to the pavement." 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.
Fundraising efforts continue for the Buffalo Filling Station by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum. Donations are very much appreciated and can be made here or by calling the Museum’s main office at 716-853-0084.
The Buffalo Filling Station by Frank Lloyd Wright has been honored as one of the recipients of the 2014 Copper in Architecture Awards from the copper development association, inc.
The North American Copper in Architecture Awards recognizes and promotes North American building projects for their outstanding use of architectural copper and copper alloys. The awards program showcases a wide range of projects, which highlight craftsmanship, attention to detail, and architectural vision.
INTERVIEW WITH JIM SANDORO BY SCOTT BROWN, WGRZ, 2013