Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Bank at 320 South Boston

320 South Boston Building today.
Artist's rendering of completed building prior to expansion.

This handsome 22-story high rise building with 10 story wings on each side is known simply as the 320 South Boston Building. In the past it has had several names.  

1927 photo.  New addition on the left, old on the right.
The Exchange National Bank of Tulsa, Oklahoma was organized in 1910, when four young men purchased the failed Farmers National Bank of Tulsa. Business men Eugene Frank Blaise, Charles J. Wrightsman, William Connelly, and Harry F. Sinclair became the new owners.

A new 10 story building at 320 S. Boston was completed in 1917 to be the home of the Exchange National Bank. It stood ten stories tall and at that time was the largest bank in 
Revolving Brass door and Gilt carved trim.

Amidst a downtown building frenzy in 1929, the bank was expanded by adding the left wing and a 22 story central tower. The addition brought the building's height to 400 feet (122 m), making it the tallest building in Oklahoma at the time. 

The architect was George Winkler, who also designed the Mayo Hotel. One of the bank's major investors was Harry Sinclair who became the bank's president.

In 1948 these were the only escalators in Oklahoma
Bank of Oklahoma was placed into FDIC receivership in 1990, and a year later was bought by Tulsa businessman George Kaiser.   

At the time, it was a $2 billion bank with 20 branches in Oklahoma. Under Kaiser's ownership, BOK began an aggressive expansion effort. BOK's expansion strategy is to locate in growing markets near Oklahoma. 

  (Older photos courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.   Text from Wikipedia, mostly) 
Old Main Lobby
Main lobby today
Decorative stone trim
Ceiling and decorative stone work

The Vault.  Very strong.  A safe place to keep your treasure.