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Showing posts from October, 2009

More Fun with Concrete

It's no wonder so many cool modern buildings are made from concrete.What else is so strong and versatile yet relatively cheap? With the invention of pre-stressed concrete we saw a boom in unique forms that would have never been possible using standard techniques. Even the most utilitarian of structure could now have an exotic and lively look. These mod concrete awnings over the pool at Henthorne Recreation Center are a perfect example. They are reminiscent of the park shelters and roadside awnings from the Sixties, especially some picnic sheleters we saw in Enid . But these are larger than most with a span of more than 60 feet. I especially like the subtle detail at each corner. Next up is a simple example I noticed while on a recent business trip to Las Vegas. It's a stairwell I spotted behind the Las Vegas Convention Center. It reminded me of another modern stairway we looked at last December. The simple form of the roof over the circular hole gives an otherwise m

Mod New Orleans School Needs Help

I admit, New Orleans is a long way from Oklahoma. But this story struck me as important enough to share. This 1954 school building is endangered and could easily become the latest victim of Hurricane Katrina. The Phyllis Wheatley School  featured an elevated design that provided a shaded recreation area under the building, not to mention protection from rising water. Today the building is looking pretty sad- but there is hope. World Monuments Fund: Phyllis Wheatley School  

Better Living by Design Video

We've neglected these modern pages recently because I've been ultra busy with a video project called Two Wheel Oklahoma . I'm happy to report it's now airing every Saturday morning at 9 AM on KMYT-TV in Tulsa. Speaking of video- the folks at Winston Media put together a great little clip show from the Modern Tulsa event held last month at Philbrook and Cucine Moderne. The event was held September 10, 2009 and showcased a new collection of modern objects from the George Kravis collection. A thunderstorm was also added at the last minute. Did you miss it? Wish you could have been there?  Wish no longer...

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

The World Museum

The widening of I-44 through Tulsa will soon claim another mid-century building (see Modern Homes Make Way for I-44 ). This unusual landmark near Peoria, once known as the World Museum, is being emptied in preparation for demolition. The concrete complex was built in 1963 by the Osborn Ministries as a museum and "Interstate Temple." Self-proclaimed minister, T. L. Osborn, and his wife, Daisy, traveled the world as Christian missionaries and collected art and artifacts on their journeys. The unusual La Concha-esque building housed their partial collection and distracted motorists touring along the new Skelly Bypass (aka I-44). The exterior of the building is adorned with maps of the world's continents. In its heyday there was a good deal more- a giant outline of Jesus was on one wall. The inscription below it, "REX," provided one of my earliest Latin lessons when I asked Dad why that building had my name on it. There was also a large globe that once stood out fr

Visit to the Prairie Chicken House

This unique house on the edge of Norman, Oklahoma is known to most as the prairie chicken house. Designed by Herb Greene in 1960, he preferred to call it simply the Prairie House .  Thanks to the  Prairie House Preservation Society  (PHPS) it is now possible for the public to experience one of Oklahoma's most unusual architectural treasures.