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Showing posts from January, 2011

Lake View

Most Tulsans are familiar with Lortondale . The unique modern abodes along Yale Avenue have been turning heads ever since they were built in the mid Fifties. But did you know these aren't the only flaptops in town? A little-known neighborhood in North Tulsa called Lake View is also primarily comprised of homes with that low and minimalist look of Lortondale. I don't know who designed or built these homes- but they certainly are similar in size and style. Built in the late Fifties and early Sixties, the suburban development on Delaware Avenue near Mohawk Boulevard hoped to capitalize on its proximity to Mohawk Park and Lake Yahola. That's the lake that is within view in case you were wondering. However, by the Seventies this area was suffering from the mass exodus to the suburbs. Tulsa, like most American cities at the time, saw a huge migration away from urban centers. This impacted North Tulsa especially hard. The area went into decline, much like Lortondale did du

Photo Tour: Admiral Boulevard in Tulsa

Just a few random images. Admiral Boulevard is the north-south division in Tulsa. It was also known as the northern border of the Cherokee Nation, but that was back before anyone cared much about a Tulsa address. Through the years Admiral has been known as Federal Way, Route 66, Highway 33 and- to the tragically nerdy- the 36th parallel. There's a slew of cool neon along Admiral, mostly due to its former status as a highway and major thoroughfare. On the eastern end was the Traffic Circle- a feature that most Tulsa drivers seemed to loathe. It was intended to handle high traffic load without a stop light- which it still does today. At one time this was also a major highway junction of Route 66, OK-33, US-169 and the Skelly Bypass. In the Sixties there were also a number of suburbia-style shopping destinations. One of the finest, Sheridan Village , was at the southwest corner of Admiral and Sheridan. Rooftop parking was a futuristic notion back then. A suburban bank branch

Let's Go: Modernism Week in Palm Springs

For the last couple of years we've been hearing more and more about Modernism Week in Palm Springs. Held each February since 2006, this week-long celebration of modern aesthetics has become the place to be for stir-crazy modernists. The Palm Springs Visitor Center is located in a super groovy gas station designed by Albert Frey. Photo: Lydia Kremer Sixth Annual Palm Springs Modernism Week February 17 through 27, 2011 Today Palm Springs, California is a mecca of Mid-Century Modern architecture. In the postwar years this desert oasis attracted the Hollywood elite and became symbolic of the Rat Pack lifestyle. The annual Modernism Week celebrates this unique "desert modern" with art exhibits, architectural tours, lectures, and sales. What began as just a show and sale back in 2001 has evolved into a huge citywide happening that attracted over 9,000 visitors last year.

Tulsa Roller Coaster Pops Up on eBay

Bit of sad news comes to us via Facebook today. A piece of Tulsa history is up for sale on eBay- the Zingo roller coaster from Bell's Amusement Park. Zingo Roller Coaster on eBay While not what most people consider "architecture," I consider a wooden roller coaster built in 1968 an intriguing piece of design. Not to mention a historically significant piece of local history, and roadside Americana! Bell's was opened on Tulsa Fairgrounds in 1951. They were forced to close in 2006 after a squabble over the amusement park's lease. Efforts were under way last year to relocate the park to Coweta, but the deal is still in the formative stages. If you'd like to test drive Zingo before you bid here's a video filmed in 2003...

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.