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Standard Oil Gas Station, Odell

#510 of 1,953 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.
The 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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Standard Oil Gas Station Reviews
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56 reviews
  • Great welcome by a volunteer We are plunged back into the 30s. I love it. We were able to visit the little caravan next door
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  • This is a beautifully built old gas station from the heyday of Route 66. To find this stop, you must take the old route through Odell via Odell Road and S. West St. It's just past the old pedestrian t...  more »
  • This is my favorite of the Illinois 66 service stations so far. They put forth a lot of effort to make the experience realistic; there's even oldies music playing on the speakers outside. I like that everything in the gift shop is route 66 related & not a bunch of weird artsy stuff from some local artist that has nothing to do with route 66. The volunteers are friendly & knowledgeable. Nothing is blocked off at this station, I was free to wander where I wanted. I love the actual service area with all the vintage equipment & the stamped tin ceiling. Their prices are decent & they have a great selection of merchandise. Thank you & keep up the great work ladies & gents!
  • Wonderful historic service station preserved and displayed nicely! Great to take photos with or without your car, Inside and out this place is great to see in person! They also offer some souvenirs for sale, t-shirts, license plates, magnets and other small items.

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