Art Deco Tulsa

Stained glass window on rooftop of Mayo Hotel

My biggest surprise in Tulsa was the abundance of fabulous Art Deco architecture.  It was known as the “Terra Cotta City” in the late 1920s which coincided with an oil boom.  My grandfather, Raymond, was born on the Chickasaw Nation, Purcell, Oklahoma in 1899 or 1900 and eventually ended up in San Bernardino in California (where he married Juanita), following various boom towns.  I love to imagine what life was like for both my sets of grandparents, marrying in the 20s and 30s when society was changing dramatically in terms of style and habits.  Irish Nana Kathleen married in a short and daring coffee colored chiffon dress with a matching cloche hat.  I kept it until recently when I passed it on to a younger cousin.

Elevators in Philcade Building

Window display in the lobby of the Philcade Building

Display of Chrome
Philcade Building

The Philcade building had a T shaped lobby lined with shops.  There are few shops now but you can still browse the window displays.  It was designed by architect Leon Senter for oil magnate Waite Phillips.  His brothers formed the Phillips Petroleum company.  Teddy is an oilman (geologist) and we have survived three major slumps.  We used to joke that the 66 in Phillips 66 stood for the amount of geologists they ‘lost’ in a year…it’s not quite as funny as it used to be. Heck, yes it is!

Rooftop of the Mayo Hotel at sunset

Sunset view of the Arkansas River from rooftop Tulsa

Teddy and I had some lovely sunset drinks on the rooftop bar of the Mayo Hotel built in 1925 and designed by architect George Winkler.  It has been wonderfully restored with many of the original features kept intact; from stained glass to ceramic tiles in the coffee shop.

Original tiles in the coffee shop of Mayo Hotel





33 thoughts on “Art Deco Tulsa

  1. Love Art Deco, so this is a special kind of treat for me! My obsession is 1920s Berlin, California at pretty much any period, and Arizona, because I’m trying to find out if the Maya ever lived there. Long story short, thanks for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad that you liked it – you should visit Tulsa and look at my post about El Paso. Fantastic Tiffany glass. I don’t think the Maya ever lived in Arizona. I am part native with ancestry from Baja and even they were a completely different nation. It is astonishing how many Nations there were from south to north.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Would love to, but I’m “stuck” in Europe between Finland and Hungary for the foreseeable future. I’ll check out your post on El Paso, though. I have a confession to make though. I’ve been obsessed with various Nations since we stayed in Montana when I was seven for an extended time, and we met this lady and her two daughters. Can’t remember which Nation she was from, but I remember her giving me a beautiful necklace with a glass swan.

    I was researching national identity in NOLA around 1821 a while back, and also looked at the Maya (don’t want to monopolize your page with a long epistle on how that’s connected). Was tired when I typed yesterday, so forgot to add, the idea was to show if and how a small portion of people interacted with each other throughout the various Nations. And look at the legends and songs of those Nations, alongside European songs in Louisiana and Arizona with a possible connection to Nations in Maine (again, long explanation).

    I’m also obsessed with Albania, Persia, the Czech Republic, and Armenia (after stumbling upon an Armenian name in my favorite book as a child), so that’s what you get when you have a cross-cultural background and move around. 😃

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    • I am pretty sure that goods (and possibly princesses) were traded from north to south America but not in times of strife. The “iceman” showed us that ancient people traveled much further than we thought. Off to Ecuador soon, so if I find anything interesting I will let you know. BTW, you might like my post Museo de Larco from Peru.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 😁 that part about the princesses made me laugh, in a find-your-sense-of-humor when nothing else helps kind of way (my way of dealing with tragedy, find the morbid humor). Unfortunately, very true.

        About the “iceman,” there’s so much we either don’t know or know because it was passed down through the generations via wishful thinking. I swear, if people didn’t ignore / look down on the symbolism in folk legends and the stories of the Nations, there’d be a lot of understanding. Have you read Miss Smilla’s Sense of Snow? The plot twist was excellent.

        Please do let me know! Have a great time in Peru, and looking forward to hearing back from you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wouldn’t let me comment, so I’ll just quickly add it here. Mexico is to America as Romania / Transylvania is to Hungary. This is my second time living in Hungary, and I still haven’t made it to Transylvania. Not even sure why that is exactly.

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