Art Deco Buildings in Tulsa
Cities Service Station #8
1648 Southwest Boulevard (map it)
Cities Service Station #8 had an ideal location along Quanah Avenue (renamed Southwest Boulevard in 1957). Before Interstate 244 was constructed it was between two cross streets, West 16th Place and West 17th Street. The first Cities Service station was constructed at this site in late 1926, after Route 66 had been designated. Its location, surrounded on three sides by streets with easy entries made it possible to draw road traffic from Route 66 as well as local traffic on side streets.
Quanah Avenue was heavily used because the street fed traffic to and from the Eleventh Street Bridge across the Arkansas River. This bridge was one of the most important early substantial bridges built in Tulsa and Oklahoma, constructed in 1916-1917. It carried traffic from Tulsa to west Tulsa oil fields and refineries. Just south of the bridge, Quanah Avenue bordered the large Constantin Oil Refinery on the east side and a sand and gravel company on the west.
When the bridge became an official part of Route 66 in 1926, it became part of this federally-designated highway, an east/west transcontinental highway, which only increased traffic along Quanah. In the early 1920s, there were already two gasoline stations and a garage at 1629, 1640 and 1701 S. Quanah, amid a small commercial development with hotels, stores, post office and fire department. With Quanah Avenue a prime high traffic street, the Cities Service station site was well-chosen.
Cities Service Station # 8 is a good example of the “oblong box” type of service station which proliferated across the nation from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. In 1926, the first station was constructed and in 1940 the separate two-bay garage was constructed. In c. 1950, the old station was demolished, and replaced by a new office and connection with the existing garage. This now unified office and garage with new sleek enameled panels, smooth lines, large glass windows, and green trim created a new “modern” identity for the Cities Service Company.
Cities Service Station #8 was listed in the National Register on March 14, 2011. It was listed under Criterion A for Transportation and Criterion C for Architecture. Its NRIS number is 11000080. « Back to List of Art Deco Buildings