My Little Corner of the Net

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Philtower Tulsa

When the Philtower Building was completed in 1928, it was the tallest building in Oklahoma.  This unusual ornate Gothic Style skyscraper was designed with a polychromatic tile roof and was affectionately called "Queen of the Tulsa Skyline" during the roaring twenties and Tulsa's oil boom years. 

Below is a vintage postcard of the newly constructed building
The Philtower derived it's name from its owner Waite Phillips, who had his office on the top floor of the office building.  He later built the Philcade building across the street and lived there after he gave his mansion the Philbrook, to the city of Tulsa to be used as a museum.

Both the Villa Philbrook (his home) and the Philtower (his office building) were designed by architect Edward Buehler Delk.  To see my post about the Villa Philbrook click HERE

Here are some views from the street level

The building is adorned with several gargoyles, this one holding a building is one of my favorites

The Philtower lobby features floors, walls and ceilings of marble with accents of Honduran mahogany doors and trim.  The carved fan vault ceilings are one of its most striking features.  There are also large brass elevator doors and brass chandeliers done in a Gothic style.

One end of the lobby features a clock inscribed with the year it was complete (1928) and Waite Phillips initials in a small crest below.

The lobby also features a construction photo of the building

There is a marble stair case in the lobby that is adorned with Gothic arches.

The lobby also has on display, a few copies of the original architectural drawings and some of the building's history.

A local benefactor has recently restored Waite's penthouse office to it's original state.  The color picture on top is after the restoration, and the black & white photo below is of the original.

The basement of the Philtower features an underground tunnel to the Philcade across the street.  It is said that Waite used the tunnel to travel from his office to his penthouse home to avoid being kidnapped for ransom because of his wealth.

To see my post about the Philcade tower, click HERE


  1. Encore un nouvel article très intéressant. Il y a en Amérique une architecture si particulière et très mal connue en Europe, merci Troy de nous la faire découvrir.

  2. Wow! Fantastic details! I love the Gothic revival buildings of the Twenties... and this one is better than most!!! That ceiling in the lobby is awesome! And the gargoyle with the building.... (shades of King Kong?)looks quite fearsome! The architectural drawings are fascinating and so are the old photos! Thank you for sharing this historical glimpse!

  3. I love that tile roof - gorgeous colors! - and the vaulted ceilings are beautiful works of art, as are the gothic arches on the marble staircase. The restoration of the penthouse office is impressive for its attention to the original detail. I was also impressed by the bison head on the wall - looks just like the bison head over the fireplace in our Sandhills cabin; we call him "Bart." I'd love to see some of the other gargoyles on the building; this one reminds me of Gollum, from "The Lord of the Rings" - with his Precious Building! Thanks for another fascinating post.

  4. For me, this building is something quite unusual. And beautiful! I've never seen such a house in my country. Not very many monuments of architecture survived after the revolution and the Second World War. Thank you for the opportunity to see such beauty! Hugs, Julia