Wadhams Gas Station

1647 S. 76th St., West Allis, Wisconsin

Surviving example of a brand-idenity building, designed by Andrew Eschweiler.


East Elevation

The independent chain of Wadham's Oil and Grease Company hired Alexander C. Eschweiler to design a unique structure for their gas stations. The pagoda style roof was certainly unique, one of the first examples of building a brand identity.

At one time, there were over 100 stations, like this one, around the midwest before the chain was bought out by Vacuum Oil Company, which was, in turn, later bought out by Mobil.

This is one of three remaining Wadham's stations that this reporter is aware of. (The other extant Wadham's Stations are in Cedarburg, where it serves as a jewelry store) and on North Avenue in Milwaukee, where it is currently unoccupied. (The station on North Avenue has been demolished since this entry was made.)

Edited to Add: A fourth Wadhams station has been located in Wild Rose, Wisconsin. The Pumphouse on The Mill restaurant is housed in the former station.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning



National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 11, 2004
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Oriental Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Specialty store; Road-related
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • September 18, 2016: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • July 21, 2011: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status
  • October 2, 2010: New photos from J.R. Manning



Wadhams Gas Station
Posted July 18, 2011, by linda grise (rgrise [at] wi [dot] rr [dot] com)

I have 2 old Wadham metal signs. They're about 4' x 6' or bigger. Any idea on their value or who might like them?

Wadhams Gas Station
Posted October 7, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Wow, this is an unusual and interesting station!