Tulsa Is an Eye-Catching Art Deco Time Capsule
Of all the cities with roughly a million people, few are architecturally unique as Tulsa. On the outskirts, there are new builds. As you get closer to town, Mid-Century Modern becomes the flavor, then smack dab in the center of the city are some of the most impressive examples of Art Deco in this region of the U.S. — upping Tulsa’s cool factor as the 2020s have designers nostalgic for the Jazz Age.
What Exactly Is Art Deco?
Art Deco is a design language that originated in France just before World War I and became the predominant architectural influence of the 1920s and 1930s. It’s often regarded as the first “international architecture” as examples of Art Deco can be seen around the world, and it precedes what we now know as Art Moderne (American Art Deco) or modern architecture.
Art Deco is characterized by its sleek geometric or stylized forms that are sometimes coupled with ornate details to create a dramatic presence not found in other forms of architecture. Both then and now, Art Deco oozes opulence, sophistication, sleekness, and grandiosity — making Tusla an even more desirable place to be as an Art Deco revival looms on the horizon.
Art Deco in Tulsa
Tulsa’s Art Deco boom graced the city as the Jazz Age was in full swing. In other words, the city flourished in the 1920s. However, it got more of a boost when another wave of oil discoveries brought serious capital to the area in a relatively short amount of time, sparking an Art Deco expansion not seen in other cities this size.
“Tulsa was a risk located on the edge of habitable land that came of age during an era of cultural and artistic excitement in America,” Shane Hood, a Tulsa Foundation for Architecture board trustee and a designer at Tulsa-based W Design told Architectural Digest. “It was a new city looking to be of its place and time, mixing the avant-garde with the culture of its people for a unique take on architecture, art, et cetera, which set the foundation for an appreciation of the arts and humanities for decades to come.”
Luckily, much of Tulsa’s Art Deco flair has been preserved and buildings like the well-known Boston United Methodist Church, Tulsa Club, and the Union Depot serve as beacons for the Deco-curious among us.
Have a client who can’t get enough of this opulent architecture? This 3 bed, 3 bath brick townhouse listed for $449k — while not Art Deco per se — is close to many of Tulsa’s Deco delights, including the Boston United Methodist Church, allowing them to regularly take in all the architectural sights Tulsa has to offer. For those who are even more into design and architecture language, tell them to drop by DECOPOLIS, Tulsa’s Art Deco museum.
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