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Showing posts from January, 2009

Pops: Oklahoma's Modern Landmark

All modern isn't Mid Century. It's just that most new construction is numbingly bland. Ironic.

Most landmarks along Route 66 are vintage. One notable exception is Pop's Soda Shop. Since opening in 2007 the futuristic cantilever roof in Arcadia, Oklahoma has become an instant landmark for travelers on Route 66. But instead of a predictable Faux Fifties theme, this landmark carved a distinctively modern silhouette in the Oklahoma sky the evening we visited.

Pop's is primarily a gas station and burger joint conceived by natural gas magnate, Aubrey McClendon. The gimmick is pop. Lots of pop (or soda to you out-of-towners), all housed in that futuristic landmark with a 66-foot tall Coke bottle out front. It all combines to make this gas station a destination for locals and Route 66 tourists alike.

The building is the product of OKC firm Elliott + Associates, a prolific source of modernist residential and commercial structures. The restaurant building is native red rock stone a…

Patrick Henry Apartments Come Down

Whenever you widen an interstate highway originally built in 1957, you're going to have to mow down some mid-century architecture. The latest victim of the I-44 widening in Tulsa is the Patrick Henry Apartments complex, until recently located on the west side of Harvard just south of Skelly Drive.


In their heyday the Patrick Henry was quite fashionable.

More recently these units had become Section 8 housing and suffered badly at the hands of uncaring tenants. I snapped these photos while the demolition was ongoing. Considering this, the relatively good condition of the structure and interiors was actually quite amazing.

The two-story complex was comprised of two semi-circular sections that formed a football shape. A circular clubroom building in the center connected the two halves and served as laundry room, post office, etc. Even the stairways going up to the second story landings were circular.

The rotund theme was also carried into the living space. Kitchen areas featured round pan…

35,000 and Counting

The Tulsa Foundation for Architecture is celebrating.

And you're invited!


TFA was recently honored for their role as Tulsa's only architectural archive. The collection of more than 35,000 architectural drawings, bound periodicals, books and artifacts documenting Tulsa's built environment attracted the attention of Save America's Treasures, a program offering grants to protect nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts. In fact, they were so impressed they presented the local non-profit a five-figure grant to keep up the good work!

To celebrate this very noble honor the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture invites you to join them for their White Glove Revue and open house on January 15th.

4th Annual White Glove Open House
January 15th 4:00 to 7:00 pm
Tulsa Foundation for Architecture Archives
321 South Boston
Lower Level 01

That's in the basement of the Kennedy Building, conveniently located across the street from the dirigible mooring mast atop the 320 Boston…

Modern Choices