Oklahoma Architecture

George Kravis’s lifelong interest in architecture began with landmarks in his hometown. Following are some of his favorite local buildings:

George Kravis favorite building

Boston Ave Methodist Church

This National Historic Landmark was designed in 1926 by Bruce Goff while he was a young designer for the Tulsa architectural firm of Rush, Endacott & Rush, under the supervision of Adah M. Robinson. Goff created a modern building evoking a Gothic cathedral with an elaborate decorative scheme throughout. The church is widely recognized as one of the best examples of ecclesiastical Art Deco architecture in the country. In addition to aesthetic principles, every element was considered in terms of the building’s function as a place of worship.

George Kravis's fire alarm building

Tulsa Fire Alarm Building

This Art Deco building on East Eighth Street in Tulsa was designed by Frederick V. Kershner and completed in 1931. His inspiration by Mayan temples is seen in the form of the building. The terra-cotta ornament is richly decorated with fire-related motifs that represent its original use as the central reporting station for the Tulsa Fire Department. After a long period of disuse, the building was renovated in 2005. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will soon become the Tulsa Firefighters Museum.

The Meadow Gold Sign, still visible from historic Route 66

Meadow Gold Sign

The Meadow Gold sign was visible for decades from “the Main Street of America,” historic Route 66. The road, first established in 1926, ran from Chicago to California and, though the project was not completed until 1938, it was the first fully paved highway in the United States. The lighted Meadow Gold sign was erected in the 1930s atop a small building on 11th Street in Tulsa and became a beloved landmark to both locals and highway travelers. When the owner wanted to demolish the building on which it stood several years ago, the sign was rescued by the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture and others. It was restored and remounted on a brick pavilion near Tulsa, still on 11th Street and visible from the highway.

Price Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright’s only built skyscraper

Price Tower

Frank Lloyd Wright’s only built skyscraper is this nineteen-story tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, that opened in 1956. It was commissioned as the corporate headquarters for the H. C. Price Company and included business, retail, and residential space. The tower’s floors are cantilevered from a central core composed of four deeply anchored elevator shafts—an adaptation from a 1920s high-rise project he intended for New York City that went unrealized because of the Great Depression. All elements, including fixtures and furniture, are based around the equilateral triangle, and the materials included cast and pigmented concrete, aluminum, and copper. The building was donated to Price Tower Arts Center in 2000.