Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2011

Photo Tour: Broken Arrow Moderns

Just a few random images.  Tulsa's largest suburb isn't usually associated with modernism, but if you look closely there are some unique examples of Mid-Century Modern. Here's a random sampling I snapped on a cloudy day in December... By far the best known modern structure in BA would have to be this white building on the hill. For decades this former church has been turning heads near the Broken Arrow Expressway. Some people describe it as a covered wagon, others see a cornucopia. But Jackie's nickname for it my favorite is. She has called it the "chicken church" since childhood.

Thoroughly Modern Getaway

We had been hearing about the unique hideaway called the Canebrake for years. I decided Jackie's birthday would be the perfect occasion to get out of town to sample their gourmet menu and spend the night in a cabin in the woods. The Canebrake is located just east of Wagoner, OK on a peninsula overlooking Fort Gibson Lake. It's miles away from the city lights so it's a great place to "get away from it all."

Timely Wallpaper

Here's a holiday freebie from our friends at Design Within Reach . Download a free 2012 calendar for your virtual desktop. Choose the size below and set it as your background wallpaper. Cool huh?

News Anchor Crashes Parade Float

No injuries reported. Mechanical Snowman is a Local Favorite Local modernista may be familiar with Shane Hood , he's quite active with Modern Tulsa, the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture and the Lortondale neighborhood. He also happens to be involved with another really cool non-profit called Fab Lab .

Tulsa's IPE Building Deserves Better

Orange You Glad They Painted it Grey? IPE Building during construction. Courtesy Modern Steel Not me. Long before it was known as the Quik Trip Center , the immense building at Expo Square behind the Golden Driller was known as the Tulsa Exposition Center. Built in 1966 to provide an indoor space for the International Petroleum Exposition, the building featured a cable-supported roof covering more than 10 acres. Distinctive orange steel supports rose up from the prairie to hold the cable system. The architect for the project was Bert E. Griffin and David R. Graham and Associates were the structural engineers. The clever cable system floating 3,500 tons of structural steel above the exhibit floor was so unique several patents were filed. The visual impact of the building was modern, but very business-like. The wide stance of the outermost support pillars echoed the "spider legs" of architect Richard Neutra. Giant beams rose up from the roof to grasp cables, almo

Carpet City Annexed

Oklahoma's Largest Carpet Co. For decades the neon sign at 15th and Delaware made this claim. Or variations thereof as certain letters burned out. But the Carpet City building  recently changed hands and is currently being renovated for use as medical offices. The sign was one of the first things to go. Unfortunately the sleek sandstone building is also losing some of its most unique characteristics. Namely, the swooping triangular carport that has been a landmark since 1948. Yesterday we drove past and saw the front of the building stripped of its Mid-Century charm. Here's a photo of the building a from a few weeks ago. Today it's not quite as cool. Sniff, sniff.

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.