Tulsa Art Deco

Tulsa Art Deco

Tulsa and Art Deco came of age together. The young city was experiencing unprecedented growth and prosperity in the Roaring Twenties, just as the Art Deco movement came into vogue. Flush with oil money, prominent Tulsans started building the skyscrapers that would spur one of the preeminent Art Deco collections in the United States.

As Tulsa boomed and the Art Deco aesthetic evolved through the thirties and into World War II, examples of Zigzag, WPA, and Streamline buildings popped up all over town. Note the sky-piercing spire of the Boston Avenue Methodist Church; the impressive mass of Will Rogers High School; and the countless service stations, theaters, industrial buildings, private homes, and grand office buildings in between.

Explore Tulsa’s rich Art Deco heritage and you’ll find a colorful slice of American architecture history.

Tulsa’s collection of Art Deco is internationally celebrated, but we are still losing important pieces of our Art Deco heritage to demolition and neglect. In fact, in the twenty years between its original publication and the recently updated edition, a dozen of the buildings featured in Tulsa Foundation for Architecture’s landmark book, Tulsa Art Deco, have fallen to the bulldozer.

Click here to explore Art Deco Buildings in Tulsa

Union Bus DepotSkelly Building
Art Deco Union Bus Depot (left) razed in 1987; Skelly Building, with Bruce Goff-designed Art Deco addition, razed in 2004 (right).

Use the links below to explore endangered buildings and places in Tulsa: