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Cloquet has the only Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station in the world. It is often billed as a road side attraction, but that is belittling to its full importance.
While many of Mr. Wrights buildings are larger, or more beautiful (I seen a half dozen or so), this is one of the most important to his philosophy on how he wanted to make the world better.
FLW was not fond of cities having grown up in near by rural Wisconsin. He wanted everyone to live a rural existance, which he saw as more humane and in touch with nature. One obvious problem with this system was that people would have difficulty meeting each other or have any human contact. So, in his grand plan (which can be seen in part at Taliesin) gas stations would be the meeting halls of the new America.
This building was what he hoped would be the begining of something grand, but sadly was the end. The gas station has a public lounge above the shop that is still open. It is a great place to rest or have a deep conversation with a friend or a stranger (if any are there).
The idea of rural existance is one I'm not certain of its practicality, but as a FLW fan I adore the gas station and its dream.
Written Sep 27, 2004