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September 20, 2020, 05:07:45 am
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Author Topic: Adams Hotel will become apartments  (Read 1367 times)
T-Town Elder
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« on: July 21, 2017, 11:53:31 am »

Building on Tulsa's past: The historic Adams Hotel will become apartments


The doors are chained shut and all 13 floors deserted, with nothing but a few scraps of old furniture scattered through the abandoned suites, which are roasting-hot without air-conditioning in mid-July. Nobody comes to the Adams Hotel anymore.

Downtown revitalization has basically skipped over it, with the historic Mayo Hotel and other nearby buildings finding new life while the Adams has sat mostly — and now completely — vacant. But that’s about to change with a multi-million-dollar renovation to turn the old hotel into new apartments.

Preliminary work will begin by the end of this year, the owner told the Tulsa World.

A stunningly beautiful and historic property with intricate terra-cotta detailing, the Adams is one of the most-photographed buildings in downtown Tulsa. But the location — on the corner of Fourth Street and Cheyenne Avenue along a well-worn path between Tulsa Transit’s main hub and a hole-in-the-wall bar that isn’t exactly drawing a hipster clientele — makes it “less than ideal for redevelopment,” as one local investor recently put it.

Businessman Ike Mincks opened the luxury hotel to welcome guests for Tulsa’s famous 1928 International Petroleum Expo, which lured well-heeled visitors from all over the world. But the city’s tourism suffered after the stock market crash of ’29, and Mincks went bankrupt a few years later, with the hotel changing hands in a liquidation sale before reopening under new management as the Adams in 1935.

The name officially changed to the Adams Office Building in the early ’80s. But colloquially, Tulsans have always insisted on calling it the Adams Hotel, even when it became a home for law firms and tax accountants after a major renovation gutted the interior and removed all traces of its historic decor. The lobby was — and still is — embellished with colorful tiles that cover most of the floor and a lot of the wall space, but what’s there now doesn’t appear to be original.

Fortunately, the exterior has remained virtually untouched, with an eclectic mix of Art Deco, Neo-Gothic, Italian Renaissance and Baroque influences.

“It’s an absolutely gorgeous building,” says Stuart Price, a local developer who purchased the Adams just seven months ago. “A lot of buildings look better when you kind of stand back and look at them from a distance. But this one looks just as good up close — maybe better.”

The Adams was one of several buildings that San Francisco philanthropist Maurice Kanbar bought in 2005, when he poured $110 million into the Tulsa real estate market and sparked a lot of excitement, with high hopes that such a well-known and savvy investor would lead downtown’s revitalization.

Instead, downtown revitalized without much help from Kanbar. And when Price acquired 13 of Kanbar’s buildings — with a combined fair-market value of $62 million, according to Tulsa County records — he found himself catching up on overdue maintenance and cleaning.

“We’re in a hurry,” Price says, unchaining the door and leading the way into the Adams’ lobby now that the homeless man has awakened and moved on. “We’re working hard, and we’re getting things done.”

Already at some of his other properties, Price has power-washed exteriors, improved landscaping, replaced elevators and installed new LED lighting. And crews have begun converting 111 W. Fifth St. into luxury lofts, which will include sprawling penthouse suites with 16-foot ceilings and up-close views of the Tulsa skyline.

The Adams, however, has been emptied. A Mexican restaurant recently left the ground floor and office workers moved out of the upstairs to make way for the building’s conversion to lofts.

“Just imagine if this was your bedroom,” Price says, standing at a 13th-floor window overlooking the BOK Center, two blocks away. “People are going to love it.”

The building will accommodate 50 apartments, with Price aiming to keep rents affordable for “workforce” housing. The ground floor will remain restaurant space, and the exterior’s terra cotta will be cleaned and repaired — “a very expensive thing to do,” Price says, “but worth it.”

The first sign of progress will come in late September or October, with the repair of decorative rooftop lanterns that once made the Adams an after-dark landmark. And the location itself will improve over time, too, Price says, as downtown’s revitalization continues and development springs up around the BOK.

“We feel very fortunate,” Price says, “to be the stewards for such a beautiful and historic building.”

T-Town Elder
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 12:57:28 pm »

Not THAT makes me happy!!   I have always loved the look of that building!  Would also love to have 16ft ceilings in my home!  Guess I will have to just get rich so I can afford to move into that place.



"So he brandished a gun, never shot anyone or anything right?"  --TeeDub, 17 Feb 2018.

I don’t share my thoughts because I think it will change the minds of people who think differently.  I share my thoughts to show the people who already think like me that they are not alone.
City Father
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 09:22:03 am »

Not THAT makes me happy!! 

To paraphrase dsjeffries, there's a difference between "now" and "not".
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