This is our first visit to Tulsa. We came with no expectations and were completely charmed by the city. Tulsa is considered the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma. It’s a relatively new city built on the discovery in 1905 of the large Glenn Pool oil field south of the city. By 1920 two thirds of the nations oil was produced in Tulsa. The newly wealthy citizens including J. Paul Getty, Harry Sinclair, William Skelly, and L.E. Phillips built lavish mansions and office buildings in the art deco style. Tulsa is no longer the oil capital of the world but the philanthropic efforts of some of the early oil men can still be seen in the beautiful museums and parks.
We spent four days in Tulsa which was really not enough time to see everything. I’m dividing this into two parts because otherwise it would be too long. This post is mostly pictures of interesting architecture, old motels and old signs.
A few classic motels
Motel signs reused for other businesses. Daylight Donuts was founded in Tulsa in 1954. This is not their traditional sign.
Brooks Theater opened in 1945. It’s been a restaurant since 1995.
Opened in 1962, the Rose Bowl, formerly bowling lanes is now an event center.
Rancho Grande since 1953. Tulsans loved this Meadow Gold sign so much that everyone got together to restore it and find it a new home when the building where it had resided for 80 years was torn down.
Another much loved icon – the 76 foot tall Golden Driller at the main gate of the Tulsa State Fairgrounds
Because Tulsa is such a young city many of the buildings were constructed during the height of the Art Deco craze and fortunately many of them survived the urban renewal of the 1960s and 70s that destroyed historical sections of other cities.
Cain’s Ballroom built in 1924 – a garage, a dance hall, and finally a music venue.