All posts tagged: Tulsa OK

Will Rogers: Why can’t new public schools be this cool?

As regular readers know, I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week for the 2008 National Preservation Conference.  Tonight’s event was in this great building, Will Rogers High School, which reminds us all that public schools weren’t always bland, boring spaces. As we drove through a non-descript neighborhood, my colleagues were doubting that anything of great value could be found in this landscape.  And yet, the moment the school, with its towers rising above the treetops, came into view, it was clear we were in for a treat.  The school was built in 1938 as part of the Public Works Administration (PWA). The auditorium was an Art Deco wonder, the library a pleasant surprise, and the entire building a delight for the eyes which has to be a treat for the discerning and observant student.  I’ve posted a couple of pictures to give you a hint of what we enjoyed. More to come… DJB

An Art Deco masterpiece

Today’s opening plenary of the National Preservation Conference was held in the spectacular Boston Avenue Church – a National Historic Landmark and Art Deco masterpiece.  Seldom have I been so surprised – and moved – by an interior. The church was built in 1929 and is filled with great detail large and small.  I took numerous pictures of the interior, several of which I’ve posted.  Today has been a gray, rainy day in Tulsa, so the exterior shot doesn’t show off the building at its best.  The stunning setting was a great place to hear the Cherokee Youth Choir, with a group of middle-school and high-school boys and girls who sang three beautiful songs in their native Cherokee. The keynote speaker was Chief Wilma Mankiller of the Cherokee Nation.  She gave a terrific talk about indigenous people, ending with the old Mohawk proverb: It is hard to see the future with tears in your eyes. More to come… DJB

Taking a Look at Tulsa

I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the 2008 National Preservation Conference and took some time this afternoon to become acclimated to my home for the next week. Tulsa is known for its great collection of art deco architecture, and on my way to the TV studio this morning to do a stint on Good Morning Tulsa I drove past the magnificent Boston Avenue Methodist Church.  What a building!  It was highlighted on the cover of the July/August 2008 issue of Preservation magazine in a beautiful photograph and – seen in the morning light – is even more stunning in person.  I hope to take some photos later in the week when we’re there for conference events. In walking around downtown on a beautiful fall day, I found a range of 20th century architecture – not just art deco.  The photo at the top of the post just gives a hint of the range of styles one sees when walking around with an open eye. The newest landmark in Tulsa just opened last August – the Cesar Pelli-designed …

Get your kicks…with vintage signs from Route 66

On our family’s western travels this summer, we regularly crossed or traveled historic Route 66, as when we visited the beautiful — and beautifully restored — La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona (see photo at the top).  So it was great to learn that the Vintage Roadside folks were traveling to the National Preservation Conference in Tulsa by road trip along historic Route 66 – and blogging about it along the way. Vintage Roadside celebrates the “incredible history and advertising graphics of mom and pop businesses from the 1930s through the early 1960s.”  The folks at Vintage Roadside partner with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the sponsors of the National Preservation Conference in Tulsa.  You can also read about their trip on the website of the National Trust. So take a look at their blog, order one of their great t-shirts with a roadside sign from America’s past, and get your kicks on Route 66. More to come… DJB