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Oklahoma Modern

Thanks for dropping by.

We hope you enjoy our stories and photos about the modern architecture of Oklahoma.

Rex and Jackie Brown during a Christmas visit to the Oklahoma Capitol


archutah said…
Hi Rex and Jackie:

Looking forward to Tulsa in 2008 for the Trust conference. Any chance you can put First Christian Church in OKC on our your list? That is if it still exists. My uncle (Fred Pojezny) was the architect for that building as well as a number of others that you may run across that are of modern vintage. I would love to see more of them documented here and discussed. Thanks for starting this great site!

Kirk Huffaker
Salt Lake City, Utah
Lynne said…
Rex and Jackie,

I've been wanting to do a site like this for a long time but never have, so kudos to you for taking action. I hope to see a lot more photos from you!

And, Kirk, the First Christian Church is still in OKC. My grandfather, R. Duane Conner, and your uncle, Fred Pojezny, comprised the firm that designed the church and other area buildings.

There are a few buildings on the First Christian Church campus that are endangered, unfortunately. One is the Youth Center that your uncle designed in 1964, I think. Another is a church office building that is a great mid-century building -- your uncle may have designed that building, too, but I'm not sure.

The church recently sold several acres (where these buildings stand) for development, and I think that they are going to be history, unfortunately.

I've been doing a lot of research (newspaper archives, old magazine articles, historical societies, etc.) trying to find and photograph buildings that my grandfather designed and have found several that your uncle designed after their firm dissolved in the late '50s. If you don't have a list, I'll be happy to send you what I have, and I'd appreciate any information you may have, as well. You can contact me at the email address below.

Thanks again, Rex and Jackie, for putting together such a great site.

Lynne Rostochil
Oklahoma City, OK
JRB said…
I'm familiar with the building. I have some photos but they were taken on a cloudy day and don't do it justice.

Thanks for stopping by.
Anonymous said…
Hi - we actually live behind the First Christian Church in Oklahoma City. Thanks for putting this site together - there are quite a few houses in Oklahoma City from the mid century period.

If you are interested in mid-century architecture in Oklahoma you should look in April's edition of Metropolitan Home. The home of Cara and Robert Barnes in Oklahoma City was featured. They have perfectly restored the home and are in contact with the architect who is in his 80s.

Also, you may enjoy visiting the archives of Oklahoma Today - there is an entire issue on "modern architecture" from 1958 - I am not sure how many of the buildings survive but there are some wonderful photos - here's the link
Lynne Rostochil said…
Rex and Jackie,

In case you haven't heard, there is going to be an exhibit of photographs at the OKC Museum of Art by legendary photographer, Julius Shulman, beginning April 30. During his long career, Shulman came to OK frequently to photograph some of our state's best and most innovative architecture, and the exhibit will be devoted exclusively to his Oklahoma photos. There will also be an architectural tour of buildings that Shulman photographed (May 2nd) and a panel discussion about modernism in OK on May 3rd. Go to for more information.

Hope to see you there!
Mark said…
Rex & Jackie -

Thanks for this well executed site. The photography is outstanding!

I recently moved back to Tulsa after over 30 years away, and am interested in preserving our unique architectural treasures.

Rex, I grew up on N. Florence Place - right near the LUSTRON on N. Harvard. I attended Celia Clinton as a Kindergartener and 1st grader in 1965 and 1966. Any chance our paths crossed as children??
JRB said…

"I grew up on N. Florence Place - right near the LUSTRON on N. Harvard."

Wow. Yes, that's quite possible. My old stomping grounds were a little further west so I attended Springdale.
Brenda said…
Did you see "A Single Man" with Colin Firth? I was wowed by the house in the film. I've since discovered that it exists in L.A., is by architect John Lautner and is for sale for $1.5 million. MCM fans should see the film. Enjoy this clip from a documentary of his work. The house is featured first in the clip.
I've read that he studied under Wright and knew of Goff's work, reportedly acusing Goff of "stretching material and structural innovations to inhuman lengths." Ironic, since he certainly seemed to do the same. That's about the only Oklahoma connection I can make with this comment.
Brenda Johnston
Oklahoma City
Brett J. Logan, IIDA said…
There is an open house at the Robert Lawton Jones House in Tulsa on Thursday, June 24th from 2-7:30pm. Bob Jones was a principal of Murray Jones Murray which was responsible for some of Oklahoma's most iconic modern structures. This house is a classic example of the International Style and has recently been renovated. Location: 1916 East 47th Street, Tulsa, OK
Amanda said…
I have a modern home I recently purchased in Edmond, and I'm trying to figure out who the architect was. Do you know who could help?
JRB said…
"I have a modern home I recently purchased in Edmond..."

Congratulations Amanda!

There are a couple of resources I would suggest. If you have a photo you can share I'd suggest contacting Lynne Rostochil or the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture. Good luck!
Unknown said…
Is there someone on your site or who reads your site who has done tours of Tulsa area midcentury homes? I am looking for homes with midcentury furnishings, if possible. Thanks!
Jeannine Falino
Anonymous said…
Rex and Jackie,

I thought you guys might be interested in a free architectural tour/lecture at the First Christian Church (at NW 36th and Walker) in OKC this Friday, Oct. 15th, at 7p.m. For more information, contact Okie Mod Squad's Matt Goad at 405 820 4523. Would love to see some of you Mod lovers there!


The Recent Past

The Bruce Goff House in Vinita

We were recently surprised to learn about a Goff-designed home just an hour away from Tulsa in Vinita, Oklahoma. Vinita is probably best known to OK Mod readers as the home of the Glass House on I-44, also known as (shudder) the World's Largest Largest McDonalds . Anywho, turned out the Goff house was on the market, and the owner was more than happy to let us have a look around. We took a short drive up the turnpike one Sunday afternoon to meet the realtor, snap some pictures, ask some questions and enjoy another one of Bruce Goff's unique creations. The home is known as the Adams House and was built in 1961. The 3,700 square foot home is arranged in a circular floor plan with a large sunken "conversation pit" at the center. Rising up from this pit is a large metal fireplace, its chimney surrounded by skylights, which dominates the entire house. Rooms surround the perimeter with folding accordion doors acting as walls. To maintain some semblance of privacy an inner

OKC's Unique First Christian Church

The Church of Tomorrow Oklahoma's state capitol dome was added some 88 years after the capitol was built, finally completed in 2002. But not far away is another dome that has been turning heads since 1956. It's the First Christian Church of Oklahoma City. Call it a wigwam, igloo, earthbound spaceship or dome- no matter how you describe the shape of the sanctuary, it's definitely eye-catching. The thin-shell concrete dome is massive, with seating for 1200. Connected to the dome is a four-story administrative building and a 185-seat theater. Dedicated as "The First Christian Church of Tomorrow," the architecture caught the attention of local newspapers, as well as Life magazine (Feb. 1957). Last summer I had a unique opportunity to explore these interesting buildings. The main complex was designed by R. Duane Conner in 1953. Conner was a member of the congregation and offered three different designs for the church. Credit is also attributed to his partner, Fr

Oklahoma State Capitol Bank

On the Trail of Julius Shulman: Stop 2 "This is a bank," the sign outside the futuristic building read. According to legend a prankster added a strategic question mark and echoed the sentiment of many passers-by: "This is a bank?" That was back in 1964 when it opened. Today the Arvest on Lincoln Boulevard looks a bit less Jetsonian, mostly due to replacement of structural glass below the "saucers," but it's still an unusual bank. Designed by Robert Roloff of the architectural firm Bailey, Bozalis, Dickinson & Roloff, the State Capitol Bank caused quite a stir in Oklahoma City when it opened. Heck, it's still pretty shocking today! Originally the flying saucers appeared to hover above the building (as seen in this vintage postcard). All the glass that made that effect possible also made heating and cooling an expensive proposition. Security concerns also mandated replacement of those windows with solid materials and small square portholes