The capital and largest city of the United States, the city of Oklahoma lies in the Sandstone Hills region. It contains the world’s largest livestock market, Oil, petroleum, and natural gas products, all of which encompass the economy’s largest sectors. The city of Oklahoma established in the year 1889 in the middle of an active oil field. With a total area of 1606.7 square kilometres, Oklahoma City is known for its hills of 250 to 400 feet in elevation and various species of oak, namely, post oak and blackjack oak. 

Architecturally blooming, the city has a cosmopolitan edge to its museums, lavish gardens, and galleries containing international art which attract tourists from all around the globe for simple pleasures and experiences. Since its inceptions, the city of Oklahoma has seen a diverse range of architectural prototypes, and here are 15 places every architect must visit.

1. Philbrook Museum of Art

Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma on 25-acre land, the Philbrook Museum of Art encompasses Italian Renaissance architectural structure. The museum structure that opened in 1939 was originally a home for Waite Phillips, designed by architect Edward Delk. The museum showcases a mesmerizing selection of art, ranging from artistic media to cornerstone collection focusing on Native American art such as pottery, jewellery, etc. 

The massive three-storey mansion is constructed of reinforced concrete and steel framework, with white marble stucco for exteriors. The formal and informal gardens, designed by Hare and Hare are inspired by the landscape of an Italian country estate north of Rome, called Villa Lante. The gardens feature a variety of Oklahoma vegetation. For all the art and architecture enthusiasts of Italian Renaissance, the museum is a must-visit! 

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2. University of Oklahoma

Constructed in a unique Cherokee Gothic Architectural style, the University of Oklahoma was established in the year 1890. Designated as one of the most beautiful campuses around the U.S., the building style is influenced by the Native American style, which is apparent throughout the entire structure. With drizzling history, the campus also houses two notable museums, known as The Museum of Art and The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Both the museums draw synchronous artifacts and exhibits worldwide, making the campus a vivid attraction for the architects.

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3. The Oklahoma City Memorial 

A commemorative structure in the United States honouring the victims, survivors, and rescuers of the Oklahoma City bombing that occurred on19th April 1995, The Oklahoma City Memorial stand in downtown Oklahoma. Interestingly, on the site of the mausoleum, once stood Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, wherein the activity happened. There are various memorial features on the site, each dedicated to a different occurring, and that includes:

– a reflecting pool (helps visitors’ retrospect one’s perspectives),

– The Gate of Time

– A Field of Empty Chairs

– Survivors Walls

– Survivors Trees

– The Memorial Fence

– Journal Record Building

– Rescuers Orchard

– Children’s Area and,

– The Alfred Murrah Federal Building Plaza

The entire space is divided into distinct segments so that the visitors not only remember the affected but witness a healing ambience.

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4. Price Tower Arts Centre

One of the pioneering experiments by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Price Tower Arts Centre is a multi-use skyscraper that includes offices, retail, and apartments. The building combines a tall, scrupulously detailed structure, marked as a National Historic Landmark in 2007 by the U.S. Secretary. Located amidst Bartlesville Oklahoma, the centre is a perfect space for all historic landmark lovers or an architectural enthusiast. 

The centre consists of an Inn at Price Tower, a boutique hotel that commemorates the architect, and another dining space (Copper Restaurant + Bar) that displays magnificent views of the landscape, the skyline, and the sunset from the 15th floor. The 1st and 2nd floors of the Price Tower Arts Centre include galleries, an Architectural Study Centre, and a Research Library. You get to witness Wright’s design intent throughout the built environment.

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5. E.W. Marland Mansion 

Remarkably known as the “Palace on the Prairie,” the E.W. Marland Mansion stands in Ponca City, in Oklahoma. Designed in a Mediterranean Revival Style, the estate is a designated National Historic Landmark (1973) converted to a museum. The mansion manifests a rustic feel, with limestone blocks, quarry stone from the site, and set-in concrete as its building materials. 

Influenced by the Palazzo Davanzati in Florence, Italy, the renowned Tulsa architect John Forsyth crafted this massive ground on a hill-side. Some of its detailed architectural elements include corbels carved with flowers, triple-arched windows, arched doorways, etc. The spatial planning and designing of this mansion take you on an ancient Mediterranean journey and hence, a compelling visit! 

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6. St. Paul’s Cathedral

Built-in the Norman Gothic Style by architect Arthur Williams, the St. Paul’s Cathedral is another National Historic Landmark of Oklahoma. The church’s congregation started with a mission in the late 1800s, and it became the seat of Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. Architecturally rich, the church includes features such as the Norman Style tower, stained glass windows towards the gospel ends, carvings from Carer Marbles, etc. 

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7. Cherokee Heritage Centre

A museum and a non-profit historical society, the Cherokee Heritage Centre unusually conserves the Native American History. The museum includes cultural manuscripts, artefacts, and traditional crafts of the Cherokee tribe. Located on a mid-19th century Cherokee Seminary in the Park hills of Oklahoma, many estate buildings, such as the wooden buildings of Adams Corner Rural Village are a revival of life of Cherokee during the 1890s. Architects who love to observe the extensive historical art and relic collection from the early 1800s should visit. 

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8. Devon Energy Centre

A 50-storey skyscraper, Devon Energy Centre is located in downtown Oklahoma City. An office building combined with a six-storey podium and rotunda; the Devon Energy Centre covers 1,70,000 square meters. A magnificent tower that reaches a height of 257.2 meters, the exterior majorly consists of glass and has a LEED platinum rating. The travelling architect should surely visit this 62nd tallest building in the U.S. to understand and acknowledge environmental concerns applied by the designers. 

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9. Devon Auditorium 

Providing dramatic vistas of downtown Oklahoma and the adjacent Myriad Gardens, the Devon Auditorium lies between the business and art regions. A cultural space, this multi-faceted auditorium space encompasses 300 seats and is an essential component of the Devon Energy Headquarters. The user flexibility of the auditorium enhances its value within its community because of its connection with a glass-enclosed sky bridge directly to the Devon headquarters.

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10. Patience S. Latting Northwest Library

The following place is a compelling location for both architects and readers. Designed by LWPB Architecture in collaboration with Richard and Bauer, The Patience S. Latting Northwest Library offers pristine views of Oklahoma City’s burning sunset, the infinite landscape, and the emblazoned skies. The project incorporates huge earth-berms on the exterior façade with rolling prairie fields captured by the earth knolls surrounding the building’s landscape. Other than that, you will also find signage depicting the famous Route 66 of Oklahoma, making the Patience S. Latting Northwest Library another must-visit!

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11. Boston Avenue Methodist Church 

One of the finest examples of ecclesiastical Art Deco architecture styles in the U.S., Boston Avenue Methodist Church completed construction in 1929. The church is located at the thirteenth street, Boston Avenue in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, designed by Bruce Goff and Adah Robinson. The built-form initially consisted of a massive 225 feet tall tower, a semi-circular auditorium, and an educational region. 

Other than following the Art Deco/modernist style of building religious spaces, the church also exemplifies the use of upcoming materials, mainly steel. The church is also a magnanimous visit since it has been the talk of many architectural critics, and designated National Historic Landmark. 

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12. Immaculate Conception Church 

A notable Roman Catholic church building located in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, the Immaculate Conception Church completed construction in 1910. The beautiful church is a red brick cruciform which is famous and worth seeing for its unusual stained-glass windows and sanctuary. This church is the second oldest Catholic parish in the entire city of Oklahoma. 

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13. Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple 

One of the most meticulous Masonic Complexes around the globe, the Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple completed construction in 1923. The history of this structure goes back to 1889 and is one of the best precedents of colossal scale, Neo-Classical Style architecture in the domain. The Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple serves as both an influence of the masons of the state and a monument of the oil sector in the economy. 

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14. Mattie Beal House 

Designed in the Colonial Revival Architectural Style, the Mattie Beal House is a historic residence located in Lawton, Oklahoma. Home of Charles Payne and his wife Mattie Beal, the construction was completed between the year 1907-09. The 14-room mansion covers an area of 3,580 square feet and encompasses many conscientious architectural elements such as bevelled glass, Corinthian columns, etc. The Mattie Beal House stands as a rare residential Art Deco exemplary, manifesting the heritage of Oklahoma. 

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15. Philtower, Tulsa

Located at 427 South Boston Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Philtower is a historic edifice designed by Edward Delk in 1928. Initially built as a high-rise commercial working space, the structure is designed in Gothic Revival and Art Deco Architectural Style. Designated amongst the National Historic Places in 1979, the building encompasses 24 floors and is 323 feet in height. 

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Author

Ansha Kohli is whimsical andenigmatic when it comes to her life. Wanting to pursue a career in architecture journalism after completing her graduation, she is on the road to seek something new and exciting, and subsequently enthusiastic to share as well as understand different philosophies associated with art and architecture.

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