Best Churches In Tulsa – An Art Deco, Frank Lloyd Wright, Googe-inspired evangelical wonderland: Tulsa, Oklahoma awaits architecture lovers to stop by.
Dealing with arrivals has been a cliché for a long time. But my recent trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, the former oil capital of the world, showed that a reevaluation was in order.
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In fact, the amount of early 20th century architecture preserved was so great that on our last day we looked at each other and said, “I don’t think I’ll ever see another Art Deco building.” (And as for us
Boston Avenue Methodist Church Photos
Even more surprising was that Tulsa has a campus with some of the most spectacular futuristic buildings I’ve ever seen, all on the campus of an evangelical university founded by one of the most controversial pastors of the 20th century.
I was in Tulsa when news broke that the eastern Oklahoma metropolis had been tragically overlooked, a perfect fit for our two-month series on Small Destinations, It’s Still a Big World. But I’ve also been to Tulsa because it contains what I’ve long considered one of the greatest works of religious architecture in the world: the Boston Avenue Methodist Church.
My epiphany began upon landing: while I was expecting a dusty, gray space, Tulsa is blooming in May. Upon landing, we went to the Gilcrease Museum before heading downtown. The museum houses the largest collection of art and artifacts from the American West (from Native Americans to Westerns and Remingtons), once owned by Thomas Gilcrease, an oil millionaire with a Creek heritage.
After checking into our hotel (the Tulsa Club Hotel, a recently restored all-Art Deco extravaganza, is from Hilton’s Curio Collection) we teamed up with Ted Reeds of the Tulsa Architectural Foundation to explain why we were here in the magnificent buildings.
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We started at our hotel, which was once the Tulsa Club and was designed by Bruce Goff when he was 23 years old. Goff, who was born in Missouri but grew up in Oklahoma, studied at Tulsa’s renowned Rush, Endcott firm. And Rashi is only 12 years old.
Reeds first took us to downtown Tulsa, a small area that appeals to architecture buffs. Filtower (Art Deco exterior, spectacular Gothic Revival interior) and Fillcade (Art Deco explosion of gold, red and marble inside), both built by Oilman Waite Phillips. The bright white Mid-Continent Tower, with its original 16 stories, is topped by a 20-story addition above it. 320 South Boston (once the tallest in Oklahoma) with its dark and ornate interior. My personal favorite, the Minks-Adams Hotel (now converted to apartments), features Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Oklahoma Natural Gas Company Building. Union Train Depot. Christ the King. Oklahoma Public Service Building. Complex directories of buildings and elevators that fill each lobby. Mid-century modern basement. BOK Tower by Minoru Yamasaki (locals joke that he took his design for the World Trade Center buildings and cut it in half).
Then, driving into the suburbs (overrun with McMansions in the early 20th century), you’ll find Westhope, a mansion designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his cousin Jenkin Lloyd Jones in 1929-1930. this was. Today, in little disrepair and in private ownership, it is a shining example of Wright’s transition and his penchant for experimenting with new materials in situ. It was one of his Art Deco-heavy projects, and you can see elements that would be perfected in later iconic homes like Fallingwater. Although it’s a famous house, especially since Wright used a flat wire roof covered with sidewalks, there’s a great story where one day Jones called Wright and yelled, “Damn it, Frank, that’s my desk! But it’s leaking!” ” Wright replied, “Richard, why don’t you move the table?”
Perhaps the best example of Tulsa’s built property and remaining legacy is one of its major museums: Philbrook. Waite Phillips himself and his family built it into an art museum, displaying his collection and opening it to the public. In fact, it’s an incredibly elegant house as American mansions are Italianate (though you’ll have to work hard to ignore the ugly additions the museum added in later years). And the collection contains the necessary number of “important” works that occupy a serious place. But most precious to me was his attempt to pass the time by doing something like hanging Kehind Willy in a room with Gilbert Stewart and Baglioni.
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For those unfamiliar, Oral Roberts was one of the most controversial American religious figures of the 20th century. He is seen as the originator of the prosperity gospel and seed faith movements (mostly rich people doing it because God wants them to). As Michelle Goldberg noted in her article on Roberts’ death, “By the 1950s it had become common practice for welfare activists to promise radio listeners that God would pay seven dollars for every dollar they sent.” As an investment that will pay predictable dividends to true believers.”
While her university (which Joel Osteen dropped out of) is now more famous for its fitness obsession, it’s also one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and I can’t explain how it doesn’t get flooded with Instagram users. .
Designed by local architect Frank Wallace and built between 1962 and 1963, it is a gooey complex (futurism inspired by cars, airplanes and space) that can best be described as an amalgamation of Oscar Niemeyer, Richard Neutra and Bruce Goff. Most people stop at the praying hand statue at the entrance, but miss everything that lies ahead. The diamond-shaped Learning Resource Center is in white, gold and charcoal black most prominently with its surrounding column of stems. (The sometimes hilarious interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber commented on social media that this was the effect you got when you went outside with a rubber band.) There are some beautiful buildings here, including the interesting yellow honeycomb Bryce Dorm. First: But others, you can’t miss the Prayer Tower, an observation deck traversed by a carnival skyscraper clearly inspired by Seattle’s Space Needle, only if you go crazy with its decor. I
Tulsa is a great place to explore another overlooked gem: Northwest Arkansas. Its most famous attraction is the Moshe Safdie-designed Crystal Bridge Museum, just a two-hour drive from Tulsa and containing the lavish art collection of Alice Walton (that’s the Wal-Mart Waltons, a family with a collective net worth of $163 billion). value).house for. , and high on my architectural wish list was Faye Jones’ E. Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel.
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Jones has long been the most criminally ignored American architect of the 20th century. Perhaps this is because most of his work is based in Arkansas and Mississippi. Whatever it is, it’s the subject of several coffee table books (an unofficial marker I use to measure how well tastemakers respect an architect), and Frank Lloyd is the only one. Although far from household names, Wright’s protégés also had the opportunity to win an AIA gold medal.
Those who have come to Jones have probably seen one of their chapels, and rightfully so, as they are, IMHO, perfection. Cooper’s Chapel is located in the jungle next to a lake. From the car park it is reached on foot along a winding path which Jones has cleverly laid out through the forest so that the chapel is not visible until the path turns straight.
It is before you, a view of the outskirts of Rivendell made of bent wood and glass. It resembles the chapel of any other Wright patron, Lloyd Wright Jr. and his Wayfarers Chapel outside of Los Angeles.
Brought to its fullest potential in the organic architecture of Wright’s style, the Cooper Chapel takes the classic Gothic arch and manipulates it using materials (wood, glass and wood-painted steel) and repeats it as the furthest chapel from shock and awe. Gothic cathedral, but manages to hit you exactly the same.
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Of course, it was the real architectural delight of the Tulsa-Boston Avenue Methodist Church.
The tower is the first thing you see from a distance. And you can see it from afar, because the church is located on a bend in the street, so that it dominates the view of Boston Avenue from the center of the city. As one Toulson said at the time, “It’s an awe-inspiring place. When you walk up to it on Boston Avenue, the church hits you. My God, you can’t get away from it.”
The 258-foot tower is an Art Deco/Neo-Gothic fusion skyscraper, with a masterful interplay of chevrons and miniature form accents that reveal more detail to the eye in every dull second. Lining its face are four angled shafts of glass designed to reflect sunlight,