Tulsa Club Hotel, Exterior

photo by: Photitect

Preservation Magazine, Summer 2019

Art Deco Tulsa Club Comes Back as Luxe Boutique Hotel

For more than 20 years, the old Tulsa Club building sat vacant in the heart of Oklahoma’s second-largest city, an eyesore that symbolized decline and decay. But now the 1927 Art Deco landmark is a sign of renewal, after a $36 million conversion to a 96-room hotel and events venue called the Tulsa Club Hotel.

The 11-story building reopened in late April as part of the Curio Collection by Hilton and is a member of Historic Hotels of America. One of the first buildings designed by noted architect Bruce Goff, its interiors were filled with exuberant zigzag and waterfall–themed plasterwork and tilework. When it opened at 115 East 5th Street, the building housed the city’s Chamber of Commerce and the private Tulsa Club. According to the Tulsa Preservation Commission, it had dormitory rooms on the sixth floor, a men’s lounge on the eighth floor, and additional spaces such as a gym and a barbershop.

Tulsa Club Hotel, Front Desk

photo by: Photitect

Front Desk of the Tulsa Club Hotel, which is part of the Historic Hotels of America program.

The club grew so much that it took over the entire space by the early 1950s, but membership eventually diminished, and it closed in 1994. Goff’s building remained vacant for the next two decades, during which it was vandalized, occupied by squatters, and damaged by multiple fires.

“The building opened in the Roaring ’20s, when Tulsa was the oil capital of the world,” says Warren Ross of the Ross Group, which served as developer and builder for the rehabilitation. Tulsa’s Lilly Architects led the project, which was partially funded through state and federal historic tax credits. While many of the original interior details were too far gone to be saved, some were restored, such as the terrazzo and hardwood floors, a mosaic tile fireplace on the eighth floor, and marble detailing.

By: Ed Gunts

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