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Tulsa's Interstate Temple Remembered

Remember the World Museum?

La Concha de Tulsa?

Also known as the Interstate Temple, the zany thin-shell concrete rotunda was razed in 2009 to make way for the I-44 widening project in Tulsa. Sniff, sniff.

Before it was mowed down I managed to snap some photos of the building, its interior and the main entrance. But the modern architecture was only part of the story of this unusual place. What my photos couldn't capture were the treasures (or shrunken heads) once on display here. The story behind the World Museum and the "global memorabilia" visitors found inside are the subject of a wonderful article that recently appeared in This Land Press:

The Oddities of Evangelism by Holly Wall


It's an enjoyable read I thought was well worth sharing. If you'd like to see more photos from the final days of the World Museum sit back and enjoy the slideshow...

Comments

Anonymous said…
I wonder who scored the big, silver globe?

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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 front …