Friday, July 30, 2010

History Mystery #2

Another mystery that needs to be solved:  What happened to this small white veterans memorial that used to be in (then) Boulder Park?

As reported by Gene Curtis three years ago in this article, Post 577 of the VFW erected this memorial back in the 1940's, representing the 622 Tulsa County soldiers, sailors and Marines who had been killed in action during WWII.  

But what happened to it?  Where is the glass with those names etched into it?

Volunteers at the Tulsa Historical Society have been digging and searching to find this answer.  Mr. Curtis has been contacted as well as the Park Dept, the VFW, some WWII veterans and others.  Nobody knows what happened to this memorial building.  Do you?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Boston Ave and First

First and Boston started out simply. 

Looking South on Boston from First Street in 1892, there was a pool hall (2 story building on left) which had a game room on the 2nd floor (that's the owner, Bill Smithson, standing on the porch).  Down the road a bit was his neighbor Dr. Sam Kennedy.  The first house on the right was Lon Conway's and the last house on the right was Dr. Fred Clinton's first house which was located on what would become 4th and Boston.  The house with the cupola belonged to Sam Davis.
In a few short years, the southwest corner of First and Boston had become the Auction Grounds where farmers gathered to trade goods.  Somewhere in this photo was the Kallam Livery Stable.

The Kallam Livery Stable was remodeled into the Alcorn Hotel by W. N. Robinson, a Kansan who came to Tulsa in 1902. The hotel had no "sanitary facilities" but boasted one luxury: private brick paving in front. More commonly, loads of corncobs were thrown on the streets as makeshift pavement.  

The lobby of the Alcorn:

Here is the same building in the 1960's as a grocery store.

The BOK Tower now occupies that corner.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Mayo Building

from the Tulsa Preservation Commission web page:

The Mayo Building is the oldest of Tulsa’s existing oil business buildings. Constructed just as oil fever hit Tulsa, the Mayo Building is a good representation of the many moderately-sized office buildings that were essential to large and small companies needing office space in the Oil Capital of the World.

Cass Mayo and his wife, Allene, came to Tulsa in 1903, and not long after his brother, John, followed from their parents’ home in Missouri. Together, in 1904, the brothers opened a small furniture store in rented space in the 200 block of South Main Street, using their meager savings and a loan from their grandmother. 

In 1906, the brothers rented the larger Shelton Building across Main Street at 213-215 South Main Street. The continued growth in furniture sales allowed them finally to construct a building of their own – the Mayo Building – which they began in 1909.

Completed in 1910, the Mayo Building was two blocks south of their original store locations, and was five stories tall, only one of a few at this height, then called "skyscrapers" in Tulsa. This was the brothers’ first venture outside of the furniture business, as they divided the building’s use between their furniture business and office space for oil companies.

The brothers were warned that moving so far south where corn was still growing would be bad for their business, but the Mayos were in the right place at the right time. The Glenn Pool helped establish Oklahoma as one of the leading petroleum producing regions in the nation. As early oil companies located their business headquarters in Tulsa, the Mayo brothers were ready to capitalize on their need for rental offices.

The Mayos responded to the increasing demand for office space by doubling their original five-story building in 1914, and by adding, in 1917, five more stories to the 1910 and 1914 buildings. At ten stories, the Mayo Building became one of the taller buildings in the Tulsa skyline.

While the Mayo Hotel is probably the most famous of the Mayo properties in Tulsa, it was the Mayo Building that produced the seed capital the brothers needed to build their real estate and investment empire. Beginning with borrowed money, the Mayo brothers worked together to build their first building, which in turn financed other real estate endeavors including the 1921 Petroleum Building, 

the 1925 Mayo Hotel, and the 1950 Mayo Motor Inn, none of which could have existed without the Mayo Building.

The Mayo Building has undergone a complete renovation and is now offering residency in 67 units.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tulsa 1927 - Part 4

Just to recap:  I'm having some remodeling done here at the house which makes concentrating on anything somewhat difficult, so instead of trying to research and write, I thought I would share the pages from this 1927 Booklet called Tulsa In Pictures.  Hope you enjoy.

.....still more to come!