Monday, August 31, 2009

St. Paul's Methodist Church, 1907

1442 South Quaker Avenue, (South Quaker at Cherry Street)

This congregation was founded in 1907 by the Reverend Sylvester Morris who founded a number of Methodist congregations in Tulsa. The parsonage of Rev Morris is believed to be the oldest surviving house in Tulsa and is now located in Owen Park. See my earlier post HERE. (photo circa 1925 courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society)

The beginnings of St. Paul's history coincide with the year that early Oklahoma became part of the United States. In August 1907, Rev. Sylvester Morris and a small group of families gathered to worship in the brush arbor at 14th and Rockford. The "church" consisted of a few planks, blocks, stumps and rocks. After six years of meeting in various locations, these early Tulsans received permission to hold church services in the basement of the Bellview School building (later called Lincoln Elementary) at 15th and Peoria.

Later, the congregation moved its weekly church services to a house located at 1441 S. Quincy. In 1913, the church changed its name to Orcutt Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church and a little white church was built at 14th and Quaker.

Growth in spirit and body lead to decision in 1920 to construct the current sanctuary located at 15th and Quaker. Construction was not completed until late 1924 and the first service of the St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church was held in December. The new sanctuary was formally dedicated in January 1925. With its exquisite stained glass and its familiar red brick gothic architecture, St. Paul's has been a Tulsa landmark ever since. In conjunction with the national realignment of Methodist churches in 1968, our church is now known as the St. Paul's United Methodist Church. Visit their website HERE.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

J. B. McGay Residence, 1936

1551 South Yorktown Place

This house was designed by Joseph R. Koberling, Jr. for J. B. McGay. McGay was an inventor who designed the parking meter, a gas calculator, petroleum gauges, and the tubeless tire. The home is an example of Streamline Art Deco with elements of the early Zigzag style. It is constructed of painted brick and features Spanish style wrought iron window balconies. Considered a maverick at the time, it was very unusual with its corner windows, front garage, and five different levels. (Excerpted from Tulsa Preservation Commission)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Brookside Then and Now

The heart of Brookside, 34th and Peoria, 1954.

Brookside is the Tulsa neighborhood just south of downtown, from Riverside east to Lewis, and from 31st Street south to 51st Street. In 1954 this area was anchored by the Brookside Pharmacy, TG&Y Variety Store, C.R. Anthony Clothing, Hanna Furniture, and Sidney's Hardware. These businesses catered to the neighborhood living close by. Most of Brookside was built in the early 1950s and was inhabited by growing young families. (photo courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society)

The heart of Brookside August, 2009.

This area, like Cherry Street (15th Street from Peoria east), has become an upscale entertainment district. Senor Tequila replaces the pharmacy, and the rest are an assortment of bars, cafes, and clubs which cater to a wider, and more fickle clientele. Competition is ferocious and most of these places change hands every few years.

What a difference 55 years can make.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Midwest Marble and Tile Building, 1945

507 South Quaker Avenue

This building was designed by Robert E. West. This simple, white rectangular-plan building has an interesting facade. Its small radiused corners are highlighted by two separated bands of black marble tile at the cornice. The smooth walls curve inward at the entrance, topped with a projected concrete lintel. (Excepted from Tulsa Preservation Commission)

The building designed for the Midwest Marble and Tile company was itself an advertisement for the company's product. The alternating bands of black and white marble make a simple but striking appearance. After over 50 years the marble is smooth, shiny, and as rich in color as when it was new. Few materials are as permanent as marble.

The current occupant is Sharp Typesetting & Graphics.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day and Nite Cleaners, 1946

1012 South Elgin Avenue

This streamline art deco commercial building sits on the curve where 10th Street in the downtown grid resolves into 11th Street. It is across the street from the Warehouse Market Building featured last June. See HERE.

Constructed in 1946 by architect William H. Wolaver it is very typical of the style presenting a flat roof and strong vertical lines even though only a one story building, it has rounded corners and glass block is used prominantly.

Possibly the most interesting thing about it is that it was used as a dry cleaners when it was built and continues to do business under the same name. Other than the City Veterinary Hospital I'm not sure what other Tulsa building can make that claim.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TV Channel 2, KVOO (KJRH) in Tulsa, 1954

3701 South Peoria Ave

KVOO radio broadcast at 50,000 watts for many years and has a rich history in Tulsa radio. IN 1954 KVOO opened a new broadcast facility in the heart of the Brookside neighborhood and went on the air with television channel 2.

Above is a fine artists drawing of the new station. It really is not possible to get far enough away to get that good a perspective.

Tulsa TV Memories has a good history of both the radio station (HERE) and the TV station (HERE).

Television Channel 2 is the NBC station in Tulsa. Located in the tower is a live web cam which shares the view of Brookside. On a good day you might see my house. The station's website is HERE.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tulsa Fire Station No. 7, Old 1946, New 2000

601 South Lewis Avenue

The first fire station number 7 was opened in this location July 1, 1921. It was remodeled in 1946 and again in 1967. (old photo courtesy of City of Tulsa.)

The original Fire Station No. 7 building was sold and remodeled and is now used by a landscaping company.

Old No. 7 from the rear. The original glass block panels are still in place in this view.

3005 E. 15th Street

The new Station No. 7 opened in 2000 at 15th and College.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cities Service Oil Company Station, 1933

1502 East 11th Street

This two-bay service station was designed by M. R. Pettingill. Its design includes an office which is recessed from the larger service area. The brick building remains painted white but the office now features a full-glazed aluminum-framed storefront which was added later. The station is still utilized in the automotive service business, but no longer contains the pump island. (Excepted from Tulsa Preservation Commission)

This building is on the list of historic art deco buildings so I will include it in this collection. However, I have to think that with the roll up doors and store front windows, the original style has been somewhat diminished.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

City Veterinary Hospital, 1942

3550 South Peoria Avenue

The City Veterinary Hospital was designed by Joseph R. Koberling, Jr. and built in 1942. It was built to be a Veterinary Hospital and has been in continual use as such to this day. It is a little streamline art deco jewel box.

It is a one-story, buff brick building with rounded Streamline corners, and large, full curved glass block windows. It has a flat roof with a banded parapet and a curved, smooth metal-faced canopy above the entrance. The "3-bar modern" parapet is similar to those seen earlier on the Tulsa Monument Building (HERE).

The rounded Glass block sections are very attractive and provide excellent interior illumination. The front of the clinic faces east toward Peoria.

Looking back out from the lobby through the front entrance.

The solid walls and terrazzo floors are attractive and very durable. Although the building is essentially in its original condition it has been brought up to date with additional lighting and central heating and air conditioning.

The surgery is in the Southeast corner. Although modern lighting is in place the glass block wall floods the room with natural light.

I have used this clinic for my pets since moving to Tulsa in 1993 when it was operated by the late Dr. Rick Pickard. It is now operated by Dr. Chet S. Thomas who was kind enough to give me a tour.

A kennel extends to the west and has several sets of cages like this one. The door faces north and connects to outside dog runs.

The dog runs are on the north side out of the sun. Full boarding services are provided for dogs and cats.
(Partially excepted from
Tulsa Preservation Commission)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jesse D. Davis Residence, 1936

3231 South Utica Avenue

This residence was designed by Frances Davis. Constructed of brick and wood on concrete, its prominent glass bay is suggestive of the ship imagery popular in Streamline residences. Corner windows and horizontal ribbon windows emphasize the streamlining, and a porthole window carries out the ship motif.

The most unusual element of the house is a three-story structural column of hollow fluted wood, extending from the basement through the second floor. It is 2 feet in diameter, 26 feet high, and was the largest of its kind in Oklahoma when built. It is the central feature in the house and is enclosed by a spiral staircase. This house also boasts the distinction of being the first all-electric home in Tulsa. (Excepted from Tulsa Preservation Commission)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hawk Dairy Building, 1948

2415 East 11th Street

The original Hawk Dairy building was built in 1937 and stood immediately east of the "new" building built in 1948. That original building and related resources were demolished in 1962. The remaining building is historically significant in its own right.

The Hawk Dairies is an excellent example of post-World War II Modernist architecture as applied to a dairy processing plant. Constructed in 1947-1948 by Tulsa contractor Jack Owen Stegall, the building was designed by Kansas City, Missouri, architect Gerad W. Wolf. The construction of the building dramatically boosted the production capabilities of Hawk Dairies, allowing it to expand its product lines, trade territory and the number of farmers from whom it purchased milk. In addition to processing milk using the latest production means, the company incorporated a retail outlet for their product in the new building. (Excepted from a report prepared by historian Cynthia Savage for the Tulsa Preservation Commission)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Milady’s Cleaners Building, 1930

1736-38 East 11th Street

This two-story building housed Milady’s Cleaners. The first floor is covered with buff colored terra cotta. The second floor is covered with cream colored stucco which blends with the terra cotta.

Detail of Terra Cotta tile on facade.

The building’s windows are surrounded with sculptured terra cotta depicting flowers, various fruits, and leaping stags. The building had cold storage for furs and utilized an underground spring for its cleaning process. (Excepted from Tulsa Preservation Commission)

Since 1967 this building has housed La Maison Inc., which sells residential lighting fixtures.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Guaranty Laundry Building, 1928

2036 East 11th Street Original architects drawing.

The building has been Page Moving and Storage for many years. View from North East.

Photograph of original entrance showing the Zig Zag Art Deco design. (drawing and photo from

Remodeled Entrance of Page Moving and Storage. View from North.

Service entrance from West.

This commercial building was designed by Bruce Goff (Rush, Endacott & Rush). Projecting sills and lintels form horizontal bands on the building. The front entry way door was orginally accented with diagonal mullions. Bands of diamonds extend to the top windows. A fur storage addition designed by Koberling & Fleming was added in 1940. (Excepted from Tulsa Preservation Commission)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tulsa Monument Company, 1936

1735 East 11th Street

The building was designed by Harry H. Mahler. Mr. Mahler suggested to the prospective owners that this new building simulate the appearance of a monument. A long building, it contains strong horizontal and vertical elements in its exactly symmetrical facade. It has wings extending on either side of the towered main entrance. It is a single-story, flat roofed building of white plaster concrete with striking gunmetal gray trim features. The triple banded pillar caps bordering the entry tower are representative of the original term given the style during this period, “3-Bar Modern.” The central focus is the tall clock tower over the main entrance with spot-lighted clocks on three sides. (Excepted from Tulsa Preservation Commission)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Blue Dome Station

313 East 2nd Street, (2nd and Elgin)
The White Star Gulf Station (photo courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society)

The Blue Dome was built in 1924 and served as the White Star Gulf Oil Station. This was the first station in Oklahoma to have hot water, pressurized air and a car wash. It was also open 24 hours, seven days a week. The station attendant lived upstairs in the dome itself. It is now the icon for a downtown Tulsa neighborhood.

The small arcade next to the dome is now enclosed and serves as the home for Arnie's Bar. Across the street is the Blue Dome Diner where my son Luke makes the world's finest walnut blueberry pancakes.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wheatley Bros Foundry & Machine Co., Pre-1942

3303 Charles Page Boulevard

Although this building shows the influence of Streamline Art Deco it is not listed in any architectural archive that I can find. Industrial buildings do not seem to be as interesting as other structures.

The Wheatley Brothers Foundry and Machine Company was listed in the Machinist's Monthly Journal of the International Association of Machinists, Volume LIV, 1942. Obviously this puts the construction prior to 1942. It probably has some interesting history but it may be lost to everyone but the family if any remain. This building is located on the curve of Charles Page Boulevard just south of Knotty Pine Barbecue. It is currently used as a facility for Tulsa Housing Authority and looks to be in good repair.

If the reader knows more about this building please leave a comment.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Will Rogers High School, 1938

3909 East 5th Place
(photo courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society)

This school was designed by Leon B. Senter and Joseph R. Koberling, Jr. Typical of PWA period Art Deco, this school was featured in a Time magazine article "outlining the high school pattern of the future" in which it was called "a model progressive high school" in "one of the most progressive school systems in the study."

The elaborate buff brick school features two large towers at the front corners of a large main block of classrooms. The towers are supported by stepped pilasters with ornate details in terra cotta "capitals". Panels above the double doors feature Will Roger’s life in two phases. One depicts his cowboy days with a horse, roped steer, and the prairie, and the other his movie days with a reel camera, airplane, and polo rider. The school has an auditorium designed to serve 1,500 students. (Excepted from Tulsa Preservation Commission)

But a school is more than just a building. It is the students and staff that make up the story and history of a school such as Rogers. The first official school year for Rogers was 1938-1939 during which time they had an estimated 1200 students.

Located in one of the most beautiful buildings in the City of Tulsa, Will Rogers High School opened in 1939 with a student body of 1,501, a staff of 44 teachers and three office personnel. Students were warned to avoid bad cattle grazing in the campus area while traipsing the footpath from 11th Street. (Excerpted from Will Rogers Alumni website)

The carved stone grey stone and Terra Cotta ornamentation is very striking.

If you do not know who Will Rogers was, you should. He is probably the most famous and well thought of person ever to have been born in the state of Oklahoma. His story is well worth reading in this article in Wikipedia. Oklahoma's favorite son WILL ROGERS.

Will Rogers Field House