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This uglyduckling would not become a swan

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South Broadway Texaco at 410 S. Broadway did not have any of the design panache other stations in the city possessed.
Contributed

Many of Rochester’s gas stations built in the 1930s had a sense of style.

There was everything from Art Deco with flashing neon accents to sleek streamline moderne designs. There were Spanish Mission styles that looked like they belonged on Route 66 and also stations with high-pitched roofs and round windows which appeared to be home to Hansel and Gretel.

South Broadway Texaco at 410 S. Broadway did not fit those artsy ideals..

Originally known as the Dixie Oil Company, its architectural style was more over-sized Kleenex box covered in white stucco.

The station opened in mid-1931, just as the Minnesota Highway Department was finishing the South Broadway bridge over the Zumbro River that connected downtown Rochester with the new highway to Stewartville.

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Before the close of the decade, four more not-so-plain gas stations would be built in the two-block stretch from Fourth Street Southeast to the Zumbro River.

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The site at 410 S.Broadway today.
Contributed / Lee Hilgendorf

"Lens on History” is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.

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