|City/Town: • Tulsa|
|Location Class: • Commercial|
|Built: • 1958 | Abandoned: • 1980's|
|Historic Designation: • National Register of Historic Places|
|Status: • Endangered|
|Photojournalist: • Billy Dixon • David Linde • Johnny Fletcher|
“In the yellowed pages of an old newspaper, local officials called the building “one of Tulsa’s finest” and a peek at the “future of our city.” But the future hasn’t turned out quite the way people expected.
Some five decades after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, local officials are calling that same building an “eyesore” and a “disaster,” an abandoned hulk standing in the way of development.
Constructed in 1958 as the world headquarters for the Oral Roberts ministry, the Abundant Life Building looks something like a 7-story-tall concrete block.
The modernist architect, Cecil Stanfield, didn’t bother to include windows — a feature that was supposed to reduce the energy bill. At the time, the windowless bulk was said to make the design fresh and innovative.” – Ref. Tulsa World
There is still an ongoing battle between the current owner (who is facing major fines because of code violations) and the city as to what will become of the building. Its also referred to as the “Diamond Building” or the “Diamond Tower”.
I’d like to point out that this building was one of the creepiest places I have ever been in. 7 stories, no windows, and pitch black hallways and rooms gave this place a creep factor of 9 out of 10.
I know its been a mystery as to what was inside this building. Inside is basically an office building frozen in the 1980’s. A leaky roof is destroying the interior. Some neat features are an entrance lobby with marble walls, a very large freight elevator going down to the basement and a projector room overlooking a large open room on the top floor. Also, unless you have the ability to walk through walls, there is no way in.
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My Father died in that building. He was in the elevator counterweight shaft doing repairs and the elevator was supposed to be shut down by the owners of the building. It was not. This was before the days of OSHA. A law suit was brought against The Oral Roberts Foundation but they fought it and my Mother was awarded a very small settlement but nothing near what she deserved. She is now in her 80's and lives on a small social security check and Medicaid. She should have been awarded millions but instead Oral Roberts' grandchildren take corporate jets to… Read more »
I am so sorry to hear of your family history here. I vaguely recall hearing something about your father’s death. I pray one day you can let go of your bitterness, though I do understand it. For your sake though. May your mother and your family be blessed with the peace of knowing you did no harm and have clear hearts.
I worked in this building for the telephone company. Wow, it sure is a disaster inside now. Got out of work one day and my car was stolen! That was my favorite car!
Another building with no windows is East Central High School in Tulsa. It’s creepy even though it’s in use.
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Hi there, we are making a television documentary about historic sites across the USA, and are filming at the Abundant Life Building in January 2022. I am looking to speak to anyone who worked at or visited the Abundant Life Building during its Oral Roberts days between 1958 and 1970s. Please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you
I too worked for SW Bell there from 1973 to 1976. We were told that the small rooms ringing the perimeter of the large room on each floor were for opening mail, which was generally full of money (in the Oral Roberts days). It was pretty hellish working for them at the time, and the person who mentioned having to speak on a phone in the lobby offices to someone upstairs was correct, it was extremely rare to actually see a customer service rep in person. Working for them was an experience embodying all the cliches you can imagine (or… Read more »
My mother worked in that building in the late 70’s. She was one of the top salesperson for southwestern bell. She left the phone company right before the breakup of at&t into the so called baby bell telephone companies in 1982. I remember during the summer she would take me to work with her and I would run around that area and play in the park close by while she was at work.
I live half a block over from this creepy eyesore, and drive past it daily. 7-8 years ago, during a terribly cold, snowy night a homeless man went in to get out of thelements. Unfortunately, it was unlit, and he fell to his death in an elevator shaft. Not long before Covid struck, a guy bought it and started to rehab it, and bought the giant low income high rise apartment building behind us to be a hotel. When Covid hit, work shifted solely over to hotel project. They are STILL haven’t finished it.
Just like to update. The building has new owners and theyhave huge plans for this historic building.
Those people have yet to finish “transforming “ the crack town apartments directly behind me yet. The guy keeps buying stuff, with all these grandios plans that I’ve yet to see come to fruition.
[…] the 1970s the building was abandoned and sits awaiting a new use or, more likely, demolition. Head here if you’d like to see the creepy […]
[…] former world headquarters for televangelist Oral Roberts’ ministries, the Abundant Life building is one of Tulsa’s most iconic—and unusual—structures. Seven stories tall and […]
Almost every picture shows multiple sources of friable asbestos, partially destroyed. A honesless man fell down the elevator shaft and died a few years ago. It sits unrenevated due to cost of asbestos remediation, so they keep it locked up. Stay safe.
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[…] office by Southwestern Bell in the 1980s. More information can be found at the Historic Tulsa and Abandoned Oklahoma sites. Abandoned Oklahoma has some shots of the interior including the marble […]
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I flew my Drone around it and posted it to YouTube.
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I have been assigned to do a report for our school newspaper on this subject, and your post has been beneficial. Can you please add more reference to this topic, thanks.
I agree it is now creepy. I was wondering if the projector is still usable. maybe it is now good for decoration
The asbestos inside has stopped any progress on getting this building restored.when I worked in there as an electrician, a guy in a basement office put a big curtain on the wall.People that came in his office had to ask or sneak a peek if he left the room.He got a lot of laughs out of it because behind it was a concrete block wall. When we would show up on a floor to do a job, the SW Bell employees would want to know what the weather was doing outside.