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Exploring Pryor Creek

It was originally called Coo-Y-Yah by the Cherokee, then in 1887 the name was changed to Pryor Creek. Most folks just call it Pryor. Today it's home to about 10,000 people, and a surprising number of interesting modern buildings!

The Googleplex is a landmark in the nearby Midamerica Industrial Park.

Arriving from the south you'll pass Google's brutalist server warehouses. The art on the main building looks like messages left by alien visitors. But then you're greeted by this lonely little Fiat 500 on a sign. It's definitely seen better days. But what better roadside welcome than a friendly Cinquecento?

Strolling around downtown we spotted these great tiles on the side of a former bank.

The local library is a nifty post-and-beam job built in 1958. Designed by the OKC firm of Bailey, Bozalis, Dickinson, Roloff, the building retains a great deal of its modern edge. I was happy to see their website even includes some great photos of the original interiors.

Another commercial building that caught our eye is this low-slung beauty. Today it's the home of TC Advisors, an accounting and investments firm. That crab orchard stone is so great– I hope they realize how cool it is. And that wacky roof... still not sure exactly what is going on there!

A nice rest stop is Whitaker Park. We detoured off US-69 on to Park Street (what else?) and enjoyed lunch at this neighborhood oasis. The 24-acre park features a pool, splash pad, tennis courts and a fishing pond. It was too hot to the enjoy the walking path, so we just ate lunch and watched the geese.

The unique shelter immediately caught our eye! Apparently the local youth have also enjoyed it's... um, design.

We resisted the urge to crawl on top of it. 



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