Now, 86 years later -- and 12 years after collector and museum operator
The station is displayed in a 40,000-square-foot glass-and-steel atrium built with a
"The Frank Lloyd Wright heritage we have here, and the tie-in with the automotive industry, is a big deal for
"This is way beyond my dreams," Sandoro said Thursday as he looked around his museum, where he expects 700 people to fill the atrium's floor and mezzanine this morning for the exhibit's official unveiling.
Among the artfully rendered, two-story filling station's features are a salmon-colored poured concrete building that includes restrooms with a long, narrow window; a waiting room designed with women in mind, since they were just beginning to drive cars in greater numbers; and a basement where the filling station attendant slept on a cot, warmed by a fireplace.
A copper roof with twin copper poles -- Wright called them "totems" -- rise 45 feet high, in a nod to Native American design, while three red, white and blue hoses connected to glass enclosures hang suspended from the canopy, poised to dispense gravity-fed gasoline.
A red neon-like sign above the station advertises "Tydol," a popular gasoline brand at the time.
Sandoro has added a 1920s-era repainted Coca-Cola cooler next to the station, although he laughed at the thought of what the notoriously fickle Wright might have said about it being there.
Sandoro originally planned to re-create the filling station outdoors, but the occasionally strong winds that blow off
Sandoro, who grew up in the city's
Construction of unrealized Wright projects after his death in 1959 has drawn considerable controversy over questions of authenticity.
The gas station is the third re-creation in
Sandoro, who welcomes the controversy, expects the museum to soon join the ranks of major
"Our attendance will jump tremendously and make us a real player in
The national office of
With the filling station attraction, Sandoro expects to double 2013's attendance of 8,500 this year and eventually eyes 40,000 to 60,000 visitors annually.
He has applied for a city grant to pay for staffing to extend operation potentially one or two more days a week. Currently it is open from
"My fantasy is to make
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