Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tulsa Fire Alarm Building, 1931

1010 East 8th St.

The Tulsa Fire Alarm Building is a historic Art Deco building in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was built in 1931 and served as the central reporting station for the Tulsa Fire Department. Fires were reported from alarm boxes spread around town to this building and the firemen in this building would alert the fire station closest to the fire. At the time of its construction this system was the best available alarm system.

The building was used by the Tulsa Fire department from its construction until 1984 when it was left vacant and fell into disrepair. In 1994, it was purchased by the Tulsa Preservation Commission. In 2000, the The American Lung Association of Oklahoma purchased the building as its new headquarters. After a $5 million fund-raising campaign, the renovation of the building was completed in 2005. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The building was designed by architect Frederick V. Kershner and inspired by a Mayan temple design. The building has an extensive terra cotta frieze program, with several fire-related motifs. A recurring theme on the front facade is a double-headed dragon. The large frieze over the front door has a male figure holding in his hands Gamewell alarm tape (part of the first alarm system used in this building) who is flanked by two helmeted firefighters. (History courtesy of Wikpedia)


  1. This Kershner designed building was built by architects Senter and Smith who partnered from 1928-1933. Construction started in 1931 and the building was operational and moved in to in 1934. In February of 1981 the alarm office moved to 600 Civic Center.
    One of the enormous lanterns that were on either side of the entrance has been restored and is at City Hall where the city council meets.