Powell, Tennessee: Airplane Gas Station

An 85-year-old former gas station roughly shaped like the Spirit of St. Louis, or maybe a biplane. The locals are trying to preserve it.

Visitor Tips and News About Airplane Gas Station

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Gas Station shaped like a plane.

Old Airplane-Shaped Filling Station

On a trip back from Memphis we stopped in Powell, TN specifically to see this old gem on the side of the road. Elmer and Henry Nickle built the Airplane Service Station, along the newly widened US 25, in 1930. It pumped its last gas some time in the 1960s and has housed a few different businesses through the years.

The unique architecture design was intended to attract drivers -- which it did and still does today. The side of the building displays a sign that says "Save the Airplane Filling Station." There is a group of people that have started the "Airplane Filling Station Preservation Association" created to help restore the building to original condition and keep it from being torn down! SO....go check out this really awesome sight, visit its website (www.powellairplane.org), and maybe see how you can get involved to help save the plane!

[Kelly Gaskins, 05/30/2009]
Powell Airplane Service Station

The Powell Airplane Service Station is a great piece of historic fantastic architecture built by the Nickle Brothers in 1930. It was never really a service station, but was a gas station for a very long time. It is a very well known and loved building in the Powell community, and its loss would be a heartbreaking to everyone.

I am the Airplane Service Station Preservation Association's web site administrator. I wanted let everyone here know that we are working hard to preserve the historic landmark. If you are intrested in assisting us in any way you can visit our webpage www.powellairplane.org or email us at info@powellairplane.org. You can also visit our site to learn more about this wonderful piece of history, and to view a number of historic photos.

[Ben Whitelaw, 06/04/2005]

Plan building.

Airplane-shaped Building

Help save the plane! A truly wonderful piece of American history needs your help. My wife and I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Powell Community when this amazing building was open to the public (Dec. 6th). There is also a crashed airplane up the road a mile or two used for advertising. Being Southern California natives, we still recall the wonderful old roadside attractions along the world-famous Route 66. We found out that Old Dixie Highway has the same type of "Call of the Road" history.

The Airplane store really needs your help. There is a wonderful group doing their best to raise funds to keep this 1930s building out of the path of the bulldozer. I bought one of their SAVE THE AIRPLANE t-shirts and all of my friends now want one. If you can, either buy a t-shirt or just help out with a donation to help save this classic structure. Better yet, visit my new friend Rock Bernard at the Rocky Top Barber Shop in Knoxville and let him tell you all about this airplanes' history and hopefully open the doors for you.

[Tony Chiapetta, 12/31/2004]

February 2005: The building is reported as saved from destruction and has been added to the Tennessee historic sites registry. According to the web site, "Elmer and Henry Nickle built the Airplane Service Station, as it is commonly known, along the newly widened US 25 in 1930."

Airplane building.

Airplane-shaped building

Follow-up on building: It's now a used-car lot, still alive but close to lots of development. Worth a detour if you're in the area.

[Lawrence Hargett, 05/03/2002]
Airplane-shaped Building

On Clinton highway, going West from Knoxville, TN, there is a building shaped like an airplane. It looks like a Curtis Robin from the 20's. I think it was at one time a service station. Better hurry before kudzu and gravity take it down.(It's on the left, just past the Walmart.)

[hmurrill, 09/19/1997]

Airplane Gas Station

6829 Clinton Hwy, Powell, TN
I-75 exit 110 (Callahan Drive). Drive southwest about a mile, then right on US Hwy 25W/Hwy 9 (Clinton Hwy). The plane is at the top of a hill about a half-mile west, on the south side of the road.
Station currently closed, undergoing restoration.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Killed by a Yankee in Her Vegetable PatchKilled by a Yankee in Her Vegetable Patch, Knoxville, TN - 5 mi.
World's Largest Rubik's CubeWorld's Largest Rubik's Cube, Knoxville, TN - 7 mi.
The SunsphereThe Sunsphere, Knoxville, TN - 7 mi.
In the region:
Lumberjack Adventure, Pigeon Forge, TN - 29 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

May 31, 2016

My Sights

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Tennessee Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Rudolph Grotto and Wonder Cave, Rudolph, Wisconsin (May 30-Jun 5, 2016)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Powell, Tennessee

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now