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Letters: Visit to Tulsa

Oklahoma Modern reader JS from Dallas writes:
Hi Rex and Jackie- 
I’m an Okie from Shawnee and I enjoy your Oklahoma Modern blog. 
I’m taking a photo trip/family visit to Tulsa in mid-April and want to check with you about what’s still around for me to enjoy. 
Here’s a tentative list: 
  1. Frank family home in Sapulpa (The last I heard, one of the daughters, Joniece, was giving tours on a limited basis. Do you know if this is still open?) 
  2. Go to an actual church service in the Boston Avenue Methodist Church to see the interior. 
  3. Drive around Lortondale (Found out about this from you guys.) 
  4. Look for the Frank Lloyd Wright designed residence in Tulsa – Do you know the address? 
  5. Find more Bruce Goff stuff in Tulsa. If there isn’t any, drive to Bartlesville to see the what’s available there. 
  6. Walk around Oral Roberts campus. I’ve got 2-3 days to relax, take pictures and reconnect with the area. 
Any suggestions you have are appreciated. 
Thank You. 

Wow, what a great trip idea. Sounds like something we'd do! I mean- if we didn't already live here. Anyway, let's run down your list:
  1. The Frankoma House is no longer open for tours. But the house is now part of a trust, and the ultimate plan is to make it and the contents into a museum.
  2. Boston Avenue United Methodist Church offers tours after services every Sunday. Tours during the week can also be arranged. For more info check the church's website (and note the lack of any mention of the name Bruce Goff).
  3. Lortondale is one of the largest contiguous neighborhoods of Mid-Century Modern homes in the nation. You can easily locate it and other cool Tulsa neighborhoods on a Google map maintained by Modern Tulsa.
  4. Westhope was designed by
    Frank Lloyd Wright for his cousin.
  5. Westhope is the Frank Lloyd Wright residence built in 1929 for his cousin Richard Lloyd Jones. It's located at 3700 S. Birmingham (near 36th and Lewis).
  6. A journal listing all of Goff's works in Oklahoma is published by the Friends of Kebyar (and it does include Boston Avenue Methodist). Copies are available online or at the gift shop in the Price Tower Arts Center, along with other Goffobilia.
  7. ORU... yes! Stroll around the campus at sunset and bask in the warm glow of the metal of the future- anodized aluminum! The iconic Prayer Tower has recently been partially restored, and visitors are welcome. For a special treat take a drive through the neighborhood just east of the campus. Up on the hill overlooking ORU you can see the former home of Frank Wallace, the man who designed Oral Roberts University.
Whew. Okay, now if that's not enough...
  • My favorite Goff building in Tulsa is the teensy house he designed for Adah Robinson. It's located behind Tracy Park at 11th Place and South Owasso Avenue. 
  • If you drive by Westhope take a tour around the neighborhood. Just west a few doors is one of Tulsa's oldest homes. It was originally the Perryman family hunting cabin and dates back to the early 20th century. Just east of Westhope are also a couple great modern houses.
  • Through May 6, 2012 you can enjoy a wonderful exhibit at the Price Tower Arts Center. It's called Greta Magnusson Grossman: A Car and Some Shorts and features an impressive display of this lady's excellent work.
If you have a suggestion feel free to post a comment below!

And if you have a question feel free to contact us!


McCune and McCune's Autobank and Senter's Service Pipeline Buidling, both at 6th and Cincinnati, provide a neat study in the transition from Art Deco to Mid-Century Modern.

Downtown YMCA: 515 S.Denver
(and, well, Civic Center Plaza while you're over there. it's one of my favorite spots in downtown Tusla.)

Jones House: 1916 E. 47th St.

Yes! Be sure to check out the other homes around Westhope. I think you'll find them quite a surprise. ;)

Though it's not Mid-Century, the Greenwood District is definitely worth walking through, as the little plaques in the sidewalks say which businesses and establishments were lost and/or rebuilt after the 1921 race riot. It's just a really neat window into Tulsa's complex past.

That's all I got ;)
JRB said…
Jones House... yes!

Great additions Jennifer.
Nelson Brackin said…
Copies of the Bruce Goff Oklahoma Guide are available through the Friends of Kebyar for $20.00. The price does include postage. We can get it in the mail to you quickly, please let us know when place your order. The 48 page journal includes maps, photographs and description of all of Goff's extant buildings in Oklahoma. However, now the Bavinger house has been demolished.

Nelson Brackin
Editor BG OK Guide
President Friends of Kebyar
Julia said…
Thanks, Rex and Jackie! I covered a lot of uncharted ground thanks to you!

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

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