The New Ulm Company Service Station

  • July 22, 2017

Built in 1926, the New Ulm Company Service Station is the best remaining example in a series of whimsical stations designed by George Saffert of the Saffert Construction Company during the 1920s. Each station was custom-designed for its location for independent oil companies. Saffert-designed stations often used strong yet fanciful imagery such as windmills or lighthouses.

Located on Broadway and Fifth Street in New Ulm, the former service station features two copper-roofed towers that are circular at the second level and octagonal at the first. A canopy extends forward from the one-story office/retail area between the towers where a single drive-through lane once protected the gas pumps. Large windmill blades were designed to sit atop both towers, but they were never installed. A service area was added to the east side and rear of the building in the 1940s or 1950s, and the gas pumps were removed in the 1980s.

Due to its high degree of historic integrity and unique design, the New Ulm Company Service Station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Today, the building is being used as offices for a law firm.


References:
New Ulm Oil Company Service Station (79001206), National Register of Historic Places Nomination File, State Historic Preservation Office, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.

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