2103 South Madison Avenue - Photo circa 1950
The Skelly mansion is a three-story building with a full basement, providing approximately 10,000 square feet of floor space. It faces west-northwest from a spacious, wooded corner lot. Its masonry exterior walls are faced with red brick, with a roof of green tile. The severe front entrance, with a classic architrave and a transom of clear, leaded glass, is flanked by carriage lights believed to have come from an early-day hearse. The entrance way is protected by a classic two-story portico supported by white cut stone columns with lotus style capitals. The portico is flanked on either side by a pair of double French doors, opening onto the terrace. A large second floor veranda with iron rail and iron staircase offering access to the yard may have been added some time after the house was built.
The main feature of the ground floor is the long, forty foot dining room. The walls have murals in inset panels and arched mirrors with plaster mold frames in the French style. Unusual features of the second floor include an ornate, half-circle ceiling grill through which the third floor exhaust fan sucked cool air into the bedroom. The third floor has two servant rooms and a bath.
William G. Skelly, oil producer, refiner, and marketer, purchased this neo-classic house in 1924. It remained in the Skelly family until 1968. The Skelly House remains one of Tulsa’s premier historical buildings.
(Excerpted from Tulsa Preservation Committee. Older photo courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.)