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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

OKC's Unique First Christian Church

The Church of Tomorrow Oklahoma's state capitol dome was added some 88 years after the capitol was built, finally completed in 2002. But not far away is another dome that has been turning heads since 1956. It's the First Christian Church of Oklahoma City. Call it a wigwam, igloo, earthbound spaceship or dome- no matter how you describe the shape of the sanctuary, it's definitely eye-catching. The thin-shell concrete dome is massive, with seating for 1200. Connected to the dome is a four-story administrative building and a 185-seat theater. Dedicated as "The First Christian Church of Tomorrow," the architecture caught the attention of local newspapers, as well as Life magazine (Feb. 1957). Last summer I had a unique opportunity to explore these interesting buildings. The main complex was designed by R. Duane Conner in 1953. Conner was a member of the congregation and offered three different designs for the church. Credit is also attributed to his partner, Fr

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

Oklahoma State Capitol Bank

On the Trail of Julius Shulman: Stop 2 "This is a bank," the sign outside the futuristic building read. According to legend a prankster added a strategic question mark and echoed the sentiment of many passers-by: "This is a bank?" That was back in 1964 when it opened. Today the Arvest on Lincoln Boulevard looks a bit less Jetsonian, mostly due to replacement of structural glass below the "saucers," but it's still an unusual bank. Designed by Robert Roloff of the architectural firm Bailey, Bozalis, Dickinson & Roloff, the State Capitol Bank caused quite a stir in Oklahoma City when it opened. Heck, it's still pretty shocking today! Originally the flying saucers appeared to hover above the building (as seen in this vintage postcard). All the glass that made that effect possible also made heating and cooling an expensive proposition. Security concerns also mandated replacement of those windows with solid materials and small square portholes