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Interstate Temple Running on Fumes

I've received several responses from people around the country asking about the Victory Bible Institute building, aka the Osborn Foundation's World Museum and Interstate Temple complex. Most of the response has been from preservationists curious to know if demolition is imminent, and whether there is any chance of saving this structure.

Today I confirmed with sources at INCOG and ODOT that the I-44 widening project is going "through" this unique building. The image (right) is taken from a 2005 plan for the I-44 widening project through Tulsa that was issued by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).

While some details of the plan have changed over the last few years, this particular detail has not. It shows the current and proposed routes of I-44, and the adjacent frontage road known as Skelly Drive. In this view you're seeing the intersection of Quincy Avenue and Skelly Drive (just east of Peoria). The blue tinted areas are the new highway route. The gre…

New List of Modern Links

Just a quick note to take care of a little cyber-housekeeping.

I've created a new page specifically for links to other sites. The new Mo' Modern Links page lists a slew of cool sites that deal with modern design, mid-century architecture and more. There's a even a little widget to display cool stuff for sale on eBay!

Over time our list of links, customarily found along the side of any respectable blog, has grown larger and larger. Not one to easily heel to the status quo, I decided to give these links the respect they deserve and give them their very own page. Over time we will add cool sites as we find them (or as you suggest them). Our archive of previous posts and clever products for your modern lifestyle will still be along the sidebar. But if you want to spend hours surfing le Internet Moderne- then you just need to bookmark our links page.

Now with all this room for the links to stretch out and relax, we're on the prowl for even more! Enjoy.

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 …

Notes from the National Preservation Conference

I am grateful to the Oklahoma Main Street Center for the opportunity to attend the 2008 National Preservation Conference. This was the first time I had ever participated in such an event and it was an inspiring and educational experience. Jackie and I attended a number of sessions and events.

Here are some general observations we made:
Tulsans don't realize how much wonderful architecture we have (or how much we've squandered).
The National Trust for Historic Places has recognized the relevance of Recent Past structures and design.

What happened to your downtown?

This week Tulsa hosted the National Preservation Conference. The experience has exceeded my expectations in a number of ways. And I think it may have done the same for our City.

While most of the 1500 attendees came to Tulsa to learn, some of the real lessons came from observing these first-time visitors. They notice those architectural treasures we have become accustomed to. I think Tulsans may have a better appreciation for their hometown after this event.

But these preservation-minded tourists, most from larger cities, also observe that which is lacking. One attendee remarked, after walking across a sea of asphalt parking, "What happened to your downtown?" Another visitor asked if there had been a fire. The concept of tearing down a building to provide a handful of parking spaces is foreign to these outsiders. Hopefully a little bit of that will rub off while they're here.

Modern Choices