Districts in the National Register of Historic Places
Brady Historic District
Primary Commercial Construction: 1906-1964
More information: District Boundary Map
The Brady Historic District is locally significant as the center of the oldest existing commercial area of Tulsa. The district grew in response to its proximity to and local dependence on the railroads that served Tulsa beginning in the late nineteenth century. Its strategic location next to multiple railroad corridors was critical to Tulsa's growth and enabled the area to thrive for over sixty years. Several blocks of "Main Street" style commercial buildings form Brady's core, while larger utilitarian warehouses, wholesale supply houses, manufacturing buildings, company offices, and storage and trucking companies surround it. They represent the distribution of raw and manufactured products that began in the early 1900s and grew steadily through Tulsa's oil boom period. The variety of building types and styles reflects the mixed-use nature of the businesses they housed. Their simple utilitarian form and styling contrasts with the high-style architecture of the skyscrapers erected in Tulsa's modern commercial center south of the railroad tracks during the 1920s.
After World War II, the wholesale activity that once flourished in the Brady Historic District began to slow, marking the transition from railroad to trucking and the district's commercial decline. The Brady Historic District measured this change by a rise in the number of transfer, storage and trucking depots. The construction of the Keystone Dam in 1964 cut off railroad access to the west; subsequently, the KATY railroad tracks were removed, signifying the end of the Tulsa's railroad transportation era. The commercial center of Tulsa eventually moved south and east, but the Brady Historic District remained associated, physically and mentally, with the city's industrial railroad past.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s a renewed interest in the Brady Historic District emerged. The clientele that had been using the Brady area began to leave when the arts community, including theater and music groups, began to move in. As a result, a renaissance is underway in Brady, as property owners rehabilitate warehouses and commercial structures for new uses. The Brady Historic District has become a vibrant arts center with a distinct historic character recognized as one of the oldest in Tulsa.
The Brady Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on September 3, 2010 under Criterion A for significance in Community Planning and Development, and Commerce. Its NRIS number is 10000618.
- Representation in Existing Surveys
- National Register of Historic Places — September 3, 2010
- Downtown Tulsa Intensive-Level Survey of Historic Resources — November 2009