Abundant Life Building

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City/Town: Tulsa
Location Class: Commercial
Year Built: Around 1958
Year Abandoned: 1980's
Status: For SaleEndangeredNational Register of Historic Places
Photographer: David LindeJohnny 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 over looking 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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billy
Guest
billy

Hell of a post. Looks like a pretty neat place. It's the one thing in Tulsa I didn't get to see.

AbandonedOK Team
Guest

pretty incredible location. Such great history. It's amazing that they would put a drop ceiling in to cover up those wonderful gold ceilings…

Fiend
Guest
Fiend

Thanks guys. Yeah, that gold ceiling covered the entire top floor, it had a projector/light control room overlooking it, probably for a stage used by Oral Roberts for TV. I would love to find pictures of this place on the inside from back in the day…

psychosaw13
Guest
psychosaw13

The Projector room was the most creepiest room to me. Entirly closed off. Neither of us would have discovered those strange gold tiles had we not stuck our heads & cameras in through the projector window.
The bldg was totaly out of an 80's horror movie.
Like a deranged Max Headroom would have came out of that Projector room. Just flat out gave me a bad feeling.
It's a total mystery, I guess only some one who worked there will have the answer to that room.

Daniel Wright
Guest
Daniel Wright

Cool photos I used to live close by the place and always wanted to see the inside.
The gold ceiling might have been the auditorium, church services were held there at one point.
The sound stage where Oral taped his shows was supposed to have been located in the basement.

Clem Clambake
Guest
Clem Clambake

Glad you're back, I enjoy your site a lot.

AbandonedOK Team
Guest

Thanks for the kudos Clem!

There is about 20 locations coming out soon! So check back for them to begin rolling out!

Charles Flint
Guest
Charles Flint

Did Southwestern Bell use this building after Oral moved out? I would swear it is where I went to set up my first residential phone line service. One had to sit in a cubicle in the lobby, use a handset, and speak to an employee elsewhere in the building. It was a very odd way to conduct business then–about 1980. This is a wonderful website. I hope you are able to continue. Tulsa was a very unique, exotic city back when. When I say this today I can never explain why, or how, to people who ask for specifics.

OkieBoy in Colorado
Guest
OkieBoy in Colorado

AWESOME web site! I am still trying to figure out why old, run down buildings are so fascinating. It's like driving by a fatal car accident. Keep up the good work!

KLC
Guest
KLC

Cool pics, thanks. I remember my mom used to work in that building in the late 60s early 70s when Sun/DX (Sunoco now – I guess) had moved in and before they moved over to their building on Detroit. (re: I also seem to recall that it might have housed a local SW Bell Offices at one time too…but I might be wrong on that one)

Reggie Hulsey
Guest
Reggie Hulsey

Yes, this building was once the offices of Southwestern Bell. I worked there from 1976-1979 on the third floor. It was the "Business Service Center" where only business accounts were handled, and the residential accounts were on the upper couple of floors. There were storage rooms full of paper files on the top floor which appeared to be chambers for a pipe organ. And yes, it was a pretty creepy place not having windows.

ZRXSam
Guest
ZRXSam

Absoulty facinating,I have sat in the parking lot of this building looking at it and wondering what the heck was this thing?Now I don't have to get arrested for wondering who what and what doe's it look like inside"No Window's?"!What in the world were they thinking!I would pay to take a tour of this one,Possible?

Harold McKenney
Guest
Harold McKenney

I appraised the property in the early 1990's, but never went in it. At the time, it was declared hazardous to your health and I reviewed several reports on how it was eat up with asbestos and the basement was full of water. SW Bell was there for a number of years. I did research there looking for classmates for a 20 year reunion in 1978. A good friend worked there for Oral Roberts before they moved out. It is quite a modern building phenom, considering the architecture and no windows. In 1978, there were hugh vines growing through the… Read more »

John
Guest
John

As a teenager in the late 1950's I visited this building with a church youth minister who was also an Oral Roberts employee.
The building was multi- faceted.
It had a prayer room, staffed with telephone persons that prayed with those that would call with personal concerns.
There was a mail opening room (that was secured) staffed with persons that seperated the mail and donations/pledges.
There was a staff that replied to the mail received.
There was a staff that manned the out going mail/media.
More on another post.

John
Guest
John

Yes, there was a recording and Tv broadcast studio. In the basement was an electronics room that was state of the art for the era There was the capability to multi-reproduce all of the media that had been recorded. As a teenager I was awed to go behind the walls/doors of this facility. I actually was privy to not only see Oral Roberts personal office but to sit in his chair, behind his desk. During this time and in later years my future and late Mother-in-Law was an employed by the Ministry, at this location. In later years my late… Read more »

Carol
Guest
Carol

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 »

granit murah
Guest

agree

eugene gant
Guest
eugene gant

Can someone verify or look into this…. the website for Freese Architecture at 1634 S. Boston has a portfolio on this building proposing turning it into a 12-story mixed use residential and commercial facility. Impressive renderings on the website. I don't know if this is a proposal waiting for investors, or the real deal. Check it out

David
Guest
David

Does anyone know who the actual owner of the building is? I've been very interested in pursuing restoring this building, back into it's original glory on the exterior, as well as other plans for the interior. I've been tracking the Freese project for over a year, and haven't seen any development. It's a beautiful rendering, but would be a total shame to see such a distinct architectural piece be torn down. It's a piece of Tulsa's personality…. I'd hate to see it go.

Zach Carpenter
Guest
Zach Carpenter

David, I too am persuing buying this building. Please contact me @ zach.s.carpenter@gmail.com

Iamcde
Guest
Iamcde

Tulsa county treasure, Dennis Miller, should have information because the owners owes the city money according to a newson6 article from 12/20/12. Tulsa county court clerk or a title company may also be able to help. The article also reads there are court proceedings at this time, court records should lead you to other owner.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

It's a pile of garbage. No windows. Seriously no windows for pete sake.

Lady Lelouch
Guest
Lady Lelouch

Well Tulsa, that's what happens when you don't take care of your buildings. They become eyesores.

Mark Walker
Guest
Mark Walker

What's the story on the repaired damage on the back of the building on the NW corner. It looks like a parabolic hole in the building was repaired given that some of the original brick bordering the repair shows damage that looks to be caused by a shearing force. The widest part of the repair, at the corner of the building, is the full height (3 stories?) of center (waist) section of the building.

Jena
Guest

Hey our family simply love your amazing website and please carry forward

Tulsa Skyline
Guest
Tulsa Skyline

I have been DYING to see this place, how did you get in? Does one simply just drive up at night and slip in through the back door? I am looking to get into ruin photography, and I feel this would be a great start.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

You have to go in through the drainage on the back side

Walter Phillips
Guest

do you have any photos of the room underneath the drop ceiling.

Walter Phillips
Guest

also who do I contact about exploring the building and how do I get in? Please let me know.

Ethan
Guest
Ethan

me.

Douglas Fournet
Guest
Douglas Fournet

Been looking for a way to get in for a while now, has anyone actually been inside recently? Please message me if you have or know how to. Thanks!

Edgunz
Guest
Edgunz

Yes I know a way in. I give many tours of this place. 9188108544

Whyamialive
Guest
Whyamialive

1710 S Boulder Ave
Tulsa, Oklahoma

its not that hard to find it….

Terry Seay
Guest
Terry Seay

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.

Cebu Image
Guest

I agree it is now creepy. I was wondering if the projector is still usable. maybe it is now good for decoration

Jewel Sanborn
Guest
Jewel Sanborn

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.
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Andi_rent projector
Guest

… nice information… Sewa _ Bandung

Havard Cooper
Guest

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Best Wishes
Steven

Henry Kissenger
Guest
Henry Kissenger

5 mistakes? Your parents only made one…

Autonomy
Guest
Autonomy

I flew my Drone around it and posted it to YouTube.
https://youtu.be/AjPupRfUKpg

Diamond Buyers
Guest
Diamond Buyers

Digital copies of old newspapers are available online, however you may still need to go through the library because they generally are contained in databases (which are not searchable through Internet search engines Sell Diamonds Online For Cash, Sell Diamonds Online, Best Place To Sell Diamonds, Sell Diamonds For Cash, Sell Your Diamonds For Cash

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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 […]

شركة تنظيف بالطائف
Guest

This information is really useful for us cleaning makka

Cjones
Guest
Cjones

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 »

Melissa Robins
Guest
Melissa Robins

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.

Patricia
Guest
Patricia

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.

Isaac
Guest
Isaac

1720 south boulder ave.

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