The idea of Frank Lloyd Wright designing a gas station sounds about as artistically wasteful as having Picasso design the print on a roll of Brawny paper towels. But it happened. The R.W. Lindholm service station, a symbol of Wright's devotion to both beautiful and useful buildings, was constructed in Cloquet in 1958, just a year before the famous architect's death. Its design came from Wright's master plan for a decentralized urban area, Broadacre City, and was the only building from the plan to actually be built. The station, which is still functioning, is the only Wright gas station in the world. "Frank Lloyd Wright for Everyman" takes an in-depth look at the Lindholm service station through photos, objects, and drawings from Wright's archive. It offers an in-depth look at two of Wright's Minnesota buildings with historical context for where the buildings place in his career and architectural history. The other building the gallery examines is the Malcolm Willey house on Bedford Avenue in Minneapolis. A squat, red brick private residence, the home Wright named Gardenwall features an open layout, with rooms running together allowing sightlines from one area to the next. Architectural scholars look at the Willey house as a crucial step toward Wright's revolutionary concept of Usonian single-family homes that would dominate much of the second half of his career.
Sept. 29-Jan. 20, 2007