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Standard Oil Gas Station, Odell

#575 of 966 in Things to do in Illinois
The Standard Oil Gasoline Station is a historic gas station in Odell, Illinois, that lies along historic U.S. Route 66. Before the days of the interstate highway system the station served patrons along the highway's cross country jaunt. It is fairly typical of gas stations along the historic corridor.HistoryThe station was built in 1932 when a contractor, Patrick O'Donnell purchased the small 200ft by 60ft piece of land the station stands on. The land lies on the southwest side of the Livingston County town. O'Donnell's plan was to build a gas station that he could lease to his son. The project went ahead and the station was modeled after a 1916 Standard Oil of Ohio design. The station is of the house and canopy style and includes work bays which were clearly added at a later date. Upon careful inspection the interior walls of the bays reveal the later origin. The station continued to sell Standard Oil products for its first several years but by 1940 it had switched to Phillips 66 brands. At least nine other stations besides O'Donnell's dotted this part of Route 66 through Odell, the competition drove the addition of the bays by the 1940s. Between the 1940 and 1952 the station underwent a number of changes.At one point, the station went from Phillips 66 to Sinclair products. Eventually, in 1952, Robert Close leased the station from O'Donnell. When O'Donnell died, Close purchased the property from his estate. He moved his family into the adjacent cafe which had been converted into a house. They stayed there until it burned in the 1970s. Close continued to do body work at the station until 1999. It was that year that the Village of Odell purchased the station for the express purpose of historic restoration. The Route 66 Association of Illinois took interest in the project and nominated the property for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, a status it was granted on November 9. 1997.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
37 reviews
  • July 28, 2017
    Part of Route 66 so we came to Odell looking for this. Cute and extremely well maintained. Reminds you of when life was so much simpler.  more »
  • July 4, 2017
    Although the Standard Oil Gas Station in Odell was built in the 1930s, it was based on a style of station from 1916. It was a popular stop on Route 66 for gas and to stretch after driving. It was a ga...  more »
  • June 26, 2017
    While driving down Rte 66 we drove past this cute old gas station. We had to turn around and check it out. There is a cute little camper from 1953 to check out along with the inside of the gas station...  more »
  • June 18, 2017
    Took a trip on the "mother road" and this was a VERY interesting stop.
  • May 13, 2017
    Nice history lesson via recorded piece. Lot of artifacts to see
  • March 27, 2017
    Great historical garage, if you want a few minutes of nostalgia, this is the place to go!
  • August 12, 2016
    I wish they had longer hours during the summer. Still it was worth the stop to see the station. The signs to the station could be better and should be updated.
  • June 19, 2017
    Lots of history, very interesting

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