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The Jazz Age and Architecture of Tulsa, Oklahoma

In Architecture
Mart 18, 2024

The Jazz Age and Architecture of Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Jazz Age and Architecture of Tulsa, Oklahoma

During the Roaring Twenties, also known as the Jazz Age, Tulsa, Oklahoma, experienced a significant cultural and economic boom. The city became a bustling hub of commerce and entertainment, attracting people from all walks of life. The architectural landscape of Tulsa at that time reflected the spirit of the era – bold, innovative, and daring.

Historical Background

The Jazz Age, which spanned from the end of World War I in 1918 to the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, was characterized by a newfound sense of freedom, prosperity, and experimentation. Tulsa, like many other cities in the United States, embraced this era of change and progress.

Tulsa’s Architecture

During the Jazz Age, Tulsa saw a surge in architectural development, with buildings reflecting a mix of styles that were popular at the time. Some of the key architectural features of Tulsa’s buildings during this period included:

  • Art Deco elements such as geometric shapes, bold colors, and decorative motifs.
  • Skyscrapers with innovative designs and modern amenities.
  • Neo-Classical facades with grand columns and intricate detailing.
  • Spanish Revival influences, with red tile roofs and ornate ironwork.

Notable Buildings

Several iconic buildings in Tulsa stand as a testament to the city’s architectural heritage from the Jazz Age. Some of these include:

Building Architectural Style
Philtower Building Art Deco
Boston Avenue Methodist Church Neo-Gothic
Mayo Hotel Italian Renaissance

Benefits and Practical Tips

Exploring Tulsa’s Jazz Age architecture can provide a unique glimpse into the city’s history and cultural identity. Here are some benefits and practical tips for those interested in delving into this architectural journey:

  • Gain insight into Tulsa’s rich heritage and architectural evolution.
  • Attend guided tours or architectural walks to learn more about specific buildings.
  • Visit museums and historical sites that showcase Tulsa’s architectural gems from the Jazz Age.

Case Studies

One of the most notable Jazz Age buildings in Tulsa is the Philtower Building, designed by architect Edward Buehler Delk. This Art Deco masterpiece features intricate terracotta details and a distinctive green copper roof, standing as a symbol of Tulsa’s architectural prowess during the 1920s.

First-hand Experience

Visiting Tulsa and immersing yourself in its Jazz Age architecture is a rewarding experience. Take a stroll down Boston Avenue, lined with historic buildings, or marvel at the grandeur of the Mayo Hotel. Each building tells a story of Tulsa’s past and reflects the spirit of the Jazz Age.


The Jazz Age remains a significant chapter in Tulsa’s history, shaping the city’s architectural landscape in profound ways. Exploring Tulsa’s architectural wonders from this era offers a glimpse into the past and a deeper appreciation for the city’s rich cultural heritage. From Art Deco masterpieces to Neo-Classical gems, Tulsa’s Jazz Age buildings stand as enduring symbols of innovation and creativity.