Tulsa, the second largest city in Oklahoma and largest community in the Creek Nation tribal allotment, may surprise you. For one, Tulsa can claim its very own doppelganger. Tulsa (originally Tallasi) and Tallahassee come from the same Muskogean roots ("old town" or "old field"-- an ironic name considering the Creeks founded their new settlement after the long and arduous Trail of Tears in 1834). Tulsa was also site of one of the nation's bloodiest, yet often forgotten, riots, The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, where one of the countries wealthiest black communities, "The Negro Wallstreet" Greenwood District was completely burned to the ground, leaving 10,000 people homeless and countless dead. Despite its checkered past, Tulsa boomed in the 1930s, thanks to a seemingly endless supply of oil. Tulsa faired better than most cities during the Great Depression and invested heavily in Art Deco architecture. Tulsa has some of the finest examples of Art Deco in the country (as well as a fantastic and wacky selection of architecture from other periods).
There was a lot worth seeing. While I'm home in Houston, I've scheduled posts from my travels in the Sooner State. Here are some of my favorites.
The Farmer's Market (1929), Art Deco "zigzag" style
Christ the King Parish, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protege Francis Barry Byrne (1929), Art Deco "zigzag" style
random building, not Art Deco, painted to resemble wood.
The Public Services Company (1929), Art Deco "zigzag" style
Not Art Deco, but impressive eaves none-the-less.
Interior of the Gillette-Tyrell building (1930), Art Deco "zigzag" style
Art Deco portable heaters.
The gold lobby of the Philcade building (1930), Art Deco "zigzag" style
The Tulsa Fairgrounds Pavilion (1932), Art Deco "PWA" style
Art Deco objet d'art at the Philbrook Collection.
Art Deco toaster
The "Rose Bowl", not Art Deco, but impressive none the less.
In desperate need of repair, the Riverside Studio (1929), Art Deco "zigzag" style
Egg and Dart madness in nearby Bartlesville