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Showing posts from December, 2009

Design Almost Within Reach

Modern Mess The current issue of Fast Company magazine (December/January 2010) has an interesting article about one of the best known outlets for modern style: Design Within Reach. A Modern Mess: the Rise and Fall of Design Within Reach by Jeff Chu is an enlightening read, and a little disappointing. Maybe I'm just naive, but it was news to me that DWR was knocking off some of their most popular products. Most of this has happened in recent years, but one example dates back almost the to company's founding. Up until 2005 the iconic Barcelona chair available from Design Within Reach was actually a clone called the Pavilion. "I didn't feel that good about it... It bugged me ... " - Rob Forbes, DWR founder Apparently DWR finally got permission from Knoll to sell the genuine article- but the practice of touting design and then ripping off designers has tarnished their image for many longtime fans. To his credit DWR founder, Rob Forbes, seems regretful of tha

Raw Deal at Classen Curve

Nice Examples of Design Spotted Everywhere... even on our plates! A few weeks ago we made the short trek up the turnpike to Oklahoma City and had lunch at a unique restaurant, while enjoying some modern architecture. The two come together at a new retail development called Classen Curve . And our meal was a treat for the eyes and the tummy! The Curve project is near the intersection of Classen Boulevard and I-44, on NW Grand. It's another product of Chesapeake Energy and designed by their favorite firm, Elliott + Associates Architects . If you've ever visited Pops in Arcadia , the Chesapeake Boathouse or the Route 66 Museum in Clinton you've seen their work before. Clean lines and simple geometry typify their work, and Classen Curve is no exception. The only establishment up and running in Classen Curve at the time of our visit was 105 Degrees . This is a raw food restaurant that also features a small market and chef school. A surprising array of entrees and desserts a

Tulsa Treasures Not Half Bad

Try as they might, the organizers just couldn't get the management people to let us into the "modern block" buildings. But a much larger than expected group of hardy building buffs showed up for TulsaNow's inaugural Tulsa Treasures Tour this morning. We counted more than 70 at one point, a hefty turnout considering the morning temperatures were in the twenties. The four buildings on the tour included two Art Deco gems and two modern postwar buildings. Sarah Kobos emceed the tour with Rex Ball, who provided outstanding play-by-play highlights of each building on the tour- and a few others. Before we ventured out, Amanda DeCort from the Tulsa Preservation Commission , offered a brief summary of the recently completed Downtown Tulsa Architectural Survey . Unfortunately we didn't get to go inside the two modern buildings, the First National Autobank (now labeled Chase) or the Ponca City Savings & Loan (last occupied by Smith Abstract). But we still enjoyed

Discover Downtown Gems on Tulsa Treasures Tour

This Saturday you can tour some of Tulsa's most important buildings. TulsaNow is sponsoring a walking tour of architecturally significant downtown Tulsa buildings. The free tour will allow visitors to see the ins and outs of four historic buildings. Art Deco to Mid Century Modern is on the menu! Just one type of Zig Zag you'll see on the tour. The event comes on the heels of a recently completed survey of Tulsa's architectural assets located within the Inner Dispersal Loop. The survey cataloged over 500 buildings and evaluated their historic and economic assets. This information is valuable to developers seeking tax credits for restoration, or submitting a structure for addition to the National Register of Historic Places. Tulsa Treasures Tour Saturday, December 5, 2009 10:00 am to 11:30 am Begins at the ONG Building 624 S Boston For more information contact TulsaNow at [email protected]

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.