Interstate Temple Running on Fumes

Detail of the World Museum building on I44.I've received several responses from people around the country asking about the Victory Bible Institute building, aka the Osborn Foundation's World Museum and Interstate Temple complex. Most of the response has been from preservationists curious to know if demolition is imminent, and whether there is any chance of saving this structure.

Today I confirmed with sources at INCOG and ODOT that the I-44 widening project is going "through" this unique building. The image (right) is taken from a 2005 plan for the I-44 widening project through Tulsa that was issued by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Map of Skelly Drive near Peoria showing I-44 widening.While some details of the plan have changed over the last few years, this particular detail has not. It shows the current and proposed routes of I-44, and the adjacent frontage road known as Skelly Drive. In this view you're seeing the intersection of Quincy Avenue and Skelly Drive (just east of Peoria). The blue tinted areas are the new highway route. The green line indicates the new right-of-way boundary for the widened interstate highway, and definitely shows it going through the middle of the complex.

So, it doesn't look very promising at this point. I haven't been able to pin anyone down on when they plan to tear it down, but it sure looks like the last lap for this Sixties landmark.


JRB said…
Tulsa World reports demolition bids are being accepted and estimates teardown will begin later this Summer. Their article does mention the building's original cost, year built, etc. But, as if it's a just another strip mall, makes no mention of the unique design or architect.

For what it's worth, here's a link to the article if you care to read it...
Full Article

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