Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mincks-Adams Hotel, 1927-1928

403 South Cheyenne,  Photograph from 1930

The Adams Hotel is located on a lot in the heart of the Central Business District of Tulsa. Built by I. S. Mincks to capitalize on the 1928 International Petroleum Exposition, the building has thirteen floors, with a full basement and penthouse. A 1935 liquidation sale gave it new owners and a new name: the Adams Hotel.

The Adams facade is widely recognized as an excellent example of glazed terra-cotta veneering.
Produced by the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company, the terra cotta pastel blues and reds are still quite noticeable, and the individual tile units are sound, with tight mortar joints.

The architectural style of the facade is eclectic, in the mood of the 1893 to 1917 period when architects felt free to use any and all decorative motifs as they saw fit. Its highly ornate facade is an imaginative combination of Gothic, Italian Renaissance, and Baroque decorations.

Just to the right of the handsome main doors is a plaque  recognizing that the Adams Building has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The hotel was listed in the National Register on November 7, 1978, under National Register Criterion C, and its NRIS number is 78002273.   

Terra cotta is also used extensively in the interior of the building in the lobby, restaurant, and all the way up the stairwell.   The interior doors are double and made of heavy dark wood.

The floor and walls are faced with decorative tile as are the stair risers.

The old elevators have been upgraded but the original brass letterbox is still in place.

 The current occupant for the larger part of the ground floor is the Casa Laredo, an upscale Mexican restaurant which makes good use of the ornate tile on the floor and walls.   

(Text courtesy Tulsa Preservation Commission) .   (Older photos courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

21st Street Bridge Across the Arkansas River, 1932

The "new" 21st Street bridge over the Arkansas River in 1932.

The 21st Street bridge across the Arkansas River was completed in 1932. The water level in the Arkansas varies considerably according to the amount of rain falls upstream. The riverbed is very sandy and a number of commercial sand dredging operations are located on the river across the state. When the bridge was being constructed the water level was so low that equipment could work from the channel.

The 21st Street bridge in December 2009.

The bridge originally had decorative risers and guard rails.

Oklahoma acquired its longest concrete bridge (1,880 feet) when Tulsa raised funds through a bond issue to build a twenty-one span, open spandrel arch bridge across the Arkansas River. The 21st Street Bridge, completed in 1932, opened a major new thoroughfare between downtown and fast growing western suburbs.

The bridge assumed a more utilitarian appearance after its 1984 expansion.

The Spans were strengthened, the deck was widened, and a Riverside exit ramp was added.

Looking north at the 21st Street Bridge and the Tulsa skyline in 1932.

Photograph taken September 10, 1983.

The 21st Street bridge project began in early September 1983 with the demolition of the old bridge railings and the three spans over Riverside Drive.

Photograph taken October 7, 1983.

The 21st Street bridge's deck is beginning to vanish into history as work has started on removing the deck to the arches. The bridge's arches and footings are sound, but the deck above the arches is deteriorated. This portion of the bridge will be removed and replaced, while the arches will remain intact.

Photograph taken May 14, 1984.

Work has started on removing the road deck at the west end of the 21st Street bridge. Pier work is continuing on the bridge, and work is underway on building a pedestrian ramp from the new bridge's future bicycle lane to the Riverside Drive bicycle trail.

Photograph taken August 12, 1984

The new ramp connecting the 21st Street bridge with Riverside Drive is moving along as two piers are complete and a third pier is nearing completion.

A comprehensive study of Oklahoma bridge construction can be found HERE. (Older photos courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.)