Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe, Shamrock

#297 of 4,142 in Things to do in Texas
Must see · Observation Deck · Landmark
The U-Drop Inn, also known as Tower Station and U-Drop Inn and Tower Café, was built in 1936 in Shamrock, Texas along the historic Route 66 highway. Inspired by the image of a nail stuck in soil, the building was designed by J. C. Berry. An unusual example of art deco architecture applied to a gas station and restaurant, the building features two flared towers with geometric detailing, curvilinear massing, glazed ceramic tile walls, and neon light accents. It has traditionally held two separate business: "Tower Station", a gas station on the western side, and the "U-Drop Inn", a café on the eastern side. Though it has passed hands several times in its history, the building has consistently housed the same types of businesses it was originally constructed for.Once considered a beautiful and impressive example of Route 66 architecture in Texas, the U-Drop Inn fell into disrepair with the decommissioning of Route 66. It closed for business in the late 1990s. After it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in September 1997, the building was purchased by the First National Bank of Shamrock, which then gave it to the city. Primarily funded by a US$1.7 million federal grant, the city hired a firm specializing in historical renovation to restore the building to its original glory and adapt it into a museum, visitors' center, gift shop, and the city's chamber of commerce. In 2006 animated film Cars, the cartoon village of Radiator Springs was based on multiple real U.S. Route 66 landmarks from Peach Springs to Baxter Springs; the U-Drop Inn's distinctive architecture appears as Ramone's automotive body and paint shop.
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Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe reviews

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  • The U-Drop-Inn is in the historic/restored Tower Conoco Station at NE corner of old Rt 66 and US 83, one block south of Interstate 40, in Shamrock TX. The building appeared in the movie CARS, and...  more »
  • We made sure to stay over in Shamrock just to take a look at this marvelous restored Conoco at night. Even with a storm brewing we enjoyed our visit as much as we did in 2017. Delightful photo ops...  more »
  • Great stop on your way down Route 66! This old gas station has a retro feel and lots of history. The inside offers “Cars” themed merchandise because apparently the gas station in the movie was inspired by this gas station. They also have a bathroom making it a good place to stop on a long drive.
  • Makes a great, quick pit stop on your road trip. Fun sense of Route 66 here, and I bet it's even better at night. Not a whole lot to do, but the people are super friendly, and any excuse to get out of the car and stretch is nice. The building itself is historic if you like that kind of thing. There are some little things to look at inside.
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