|City/Town: • Tulsa|
|Location Class: • Commercial|
|Built: • 1927 | Abandoned: • 1994|
|Historic Designation: • Abandoned Atlas Foundation Contribution to POK Most Endangered List (2011)|
|Status: • Restored (2019)|
|Photojournalist: • David Linde|
The Tulsa Club Building at East Fifth Street and South Cincinnati Avenue was designed by Bruce Goff a creative American architect. His work was distinguished by his unique and eccentric designs in buildings throughout Oklahoma and other Midwest states. In 1927 the 11-floor, 92,000 sq. ft. building that would become The Tulsa Club Building was constructed through the joint efforts of The Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and the Tulsa Club.
Known for its elite members, businessmen often used the Club Building for many business deals, elaborate dinners, and being an urban escape for Tulsans. Club members enjoyed all the perks including elaborate mosaic fireplaces, and most famously, the grand ballroom located on the ninth floor. Featuring two-story ceilings, velvet drape curtains, and endless partying. The building has 11 floors, which were dedicated to giant dining halls, smaller dining rooms, dormitories for men staying overnight, dozens of small lounges and libraries. It was also home to the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce on floors two-five for many years. The club also featured an athletic facility and barbershop to keep their members looking in tiptop shape. The top floor of the Club Building was known as the Sky Terrace, it had seating for a hundred guests to enjoy lunches and dinners.
Club members were made to pay a $50 initiation fee and $19 in monthly dues, and $119 for club amenities. But with the fluctuation of the economy in the late nineties club members struggled to pay dues and eventually The Tulsa Club dissolved. For many years after that, the building changed hands several times and was even repossessed by the City of Tulsa in 2010. Eventually, the building was officially abandoned and started to fall into disarray. Soon people started to make a temporary home out of the building, drug activity and kids wanting a thrill made cops frequent the area and install cameras to deter them.
With the unwelcomed visitors and activity came a numerous amount of fires. Within its first year of abandonment, there were four fires that Tulsa Fire Department was called to put out over the years. On October 15, 2010 a significant blaze ravaged its way through the upper floor of the derelict Tulsa Club Building. One firefighter who had suffered from heat exhaustion was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
In 2015, The Ross Group started a hefty $36 million renovation on the almost century-old building. The cost was offset by state and federal historic tax credits and helped to keep the Tulsa Club Building in almost the same design as it was previously. It was fully restored into a 96-room hotel that opened in April of 2019. Take a look at the construction and newly renovated hotel in the video below and then the gallery of when it was abandoned after that.
Article by AOK Photojournalists Emily Cowan and David Linde.
Gallery Below of Tulsa Club Building
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**DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK**If you want to get into the building thwre is 2 ways in. #1. Go into the the ally on the left side of the building, you will see a wooden door that leads into the area that is between the tulsa club building and the parking garage. It is locked so hop it. Once you hop the fence you will see this concrete thing with a red tarp on it and a ladder going down. Climb up the ladder and go thru the hole and then walk thru the door and you are in!… Read more »
Way #1 has been blocked
You did an awesome job presenting this site. I thouroughly enjoyed it.
When I bought the building in 2013 (sold in 2015), I had never been inside. The AO pictures were the only ones I had. Keep up the good work.
Your article is very good. Thanks for sharing
Fantastic – a few years ago I spoke with someone at Ross Group about the building’s history and some form of display in tribute to the birth of the Barbershop Harmony Society who held their very first meeting on the roof garden April 11, 1938. I’m hopeful someone remembers and we are a part of the plan – happy to help – Grady Kerr –BHS Historian.
Would love the opportunity to be a part of the renovations to such a beautiful and historical structure!
On a quite Sunday I captured some video with my drone of the Tulsa Club. https://youtu.be/UbhaXfE8YH4
We are currently trying to recreate the chandeliers for the renovation, so if anyone has any photos of the chandeliers please forward them to me at:
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Is this building open for exploration? Would love to take pictures in it.
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This is just a bunch of words that make no sense at all
Hello, me and my airsoft team have been looking for places to call home base for awhile now and was wondering if anyone knows where a good condemned building is that someone would donate to the airsoft community for use. We live and work in the tulsa area and have been looking for quite some time, just happen to stumble upon this webite so please comment thanks!
jesse aka jester
I purchased this building. Please do not attempt to enter it. If you would like to sell or donate original fixtures for the restoration please contact me at josh at vestatulsa dot com – thanks for the pictures
Would you be willing to let someone explore this building?
Are u still the owner or no?
THANK YOU for posting these. I have always wanted to get in the Tulsa Club building someday. I wish I were wealthy so I could do something amazing and positive to it.
Does anyone know how I can get into the building?
Could anyone tell me how to get in?
I hope someone restores this!
I?m not certain the place you’re getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend a while learning much more or understanding more. Thank you for wonderful info I was searching for this information for my mission.
Hopefully your mission is to learn to read and write