Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pops: Oklahoma's Modern Landmark

All modern isn't Mid Century. It's just that most new construction is numbingly bland. Ironic.

Route 66 Landmark in ArcadiaMost landmarks along Route 66 are vintage. One notable exception is Pop's Soda Shop. Since opening in 2007 the futuristic cantilever roof in Arcadia, Oklahoma has become an instant landmark for travelers on Route 66. But instead of a predictable Faux Fifties theme, this landmark carved a distinctively modern silhouette in the Oklahoma sky the evening we visited.

Pop's is primarily a gas station and burger joint conceived by natural gas magnate, Aubrey McClendon. The gimmick is pop. Lots of pop (or soda to you out-of-towners), all housed in that futuristic landmark with a 66-foot tall Coke bottle out front. It all combines to make this gas station a destination for locals and Route 66 tourists alike.

We stopped at Pop's Soda Shop in ArcadiaThe building is the product of OKC firm Elliott + Associates, a prolific source of modernist residential and commercial structures. The restaurant building is native red rock stone and glass, open and bright. Hovering above is a steel canopy that stretches 100 feet to cover the building and forecourt. Even the gas pumps are futuristic dispensers from Gilbarco.

The result? Thoroughly Oklahoma modern. It makes Pop's a unique spot to just hang out on the Mother Road. Or have lunch, gas up, or maybe even grab a pop!

Futuristic fule pumps at Pops.
Off-the-shelf concrete benches spoil an otherwise contemporary landscape.

Roof support detail from below.
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