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Route 66 Mobile Tour

Sayre Champlin Service Station

5th and Main, Sayre




Constructed in 1934 to meet the needs of locals and travelers on Route 66, the Sayre Champlin Service Station is an oblong box building located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Fifth and Main, one block west of Sayre's business district. This single-story structure boasts a flat roof, concrete walls and a combination of large plate glass windows and metal multi-light windows. Decorative lines emphasize the horizontal, streamlined commercial form of the Art Moderne architectural style. The defining design elements are the pilasters rounded at the top before they reach the coping of the wall and the long horizontal ovals high above the windows between the pilasters. During the first two decades of the Twentieth Century, only local independent operators owned gasoline stations, in this case, the Prince Brothers. Even so, just as Route 66 spawned countless small business operations along its path, it also set into motion forces that undermined those independent businesses. As traffic increased, petroleum companies that had previously focused their efforts on one aspect of the oil business began to integrate vertically so that they would control their product from its source underground through its refining into a marketable product and to its final retail distribution. In 1928 the brothers sold their station location to the Champlin Refining Company. Champlin operated the station for four decades. But, the rerouting of Route 66 and the eventual opening of Interstate 40 drew customers away from the historic station and resulted in its closure.