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December 04, 2022, 06:38:34 pm
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Author Topic: Updates on Abundant Life Bldg (Tulsa Club moved to its own thread)  (Read 171209 times)
AngieB
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« Reply #360 on: December 09, 2016, 01:25:09 pm »

I believe you and I might have differing opinions on the attractiveness of ORU.

How do you know my opinion of the attractiveness of ORU?
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Townsend
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« Reply #361 on: December 09, 2016, 01:36:17 pm »

How do you know my opinion of the attractiveness of ORU?

You appeared to allude to it in previous posts.  If you find it unattractive then I misunderstood and I retract.
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AngieB
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« Reply #362 on: December 09, 2016, 01:53:35 pm »

You appeared to allude to it in previous posts.  If you find it unattractive then I misunderstood and I retract.
My only comment concerning ORU was that they moved operations there from the Abundant Life Building. I did say the ABL was beautiful in its day.

But if you must know, I do believe the architecture of ORU is significant and has many beautiful features. I objected to the condescending nature of your comment and assumption of what my opinion must be. Let's throw up an unattractive aerial photo and chuckle that someone might think it has architectural value.
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AngieB
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« Reply #363 on: December 09, 2016, 02:19:22 pm »

Oralís buildings were very significant Mid-Century designs in their day and are still looked upon by some architecture buffs with favor.  I suspect had the Abundant Life Building been constructed with windows it might have found a better re-purpose and would not sit vacant now.

Angie, do you have any idea why this was constructed without any windows?

Aquaman is correct, it was to save on utility costs.

I just got off the phone with my mother and she spoke of the spacious open areas, terrazzo floors and marble features. She didn't know all the different woods used, but did mention teak and birdseye maple. And the fantastic pipe organ in the upper level sanctuary. Also, Oral did not "abandon" the building Ė to her recollection, some operations stayed in the building for several years then it was sold. I don't know who allowed to to go to ruin, but it wasn't OREA/ORU.
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Tulsasaurus Rex
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« Reply #364 on: December 09, 2016, 02:26:57 pm »

The only other use was as a telephone switch (basically the same as AT&Ts giant brick building downtown).

The old Central High School building? That would be a real gem to bring back to use.
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johrasephoenix
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« Reply #365 on: December 09, 2016, 03:47:07 pm »

I've always thought that ORU looks either like:

a) the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City

or b) Star Trek Federation Galactic Headquarters

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Conan71
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« Reply #366 on: December 09, 2016, 03:48:44 pm »

The old Central High School building? That would be a real gem to bring back to use.

Isnít AEP/PSO in the old Central High?
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Tulsasaurus Rex
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« Reply #367 on: December 09, 2016, 04:00:35 pm »

Isnít AEP/PSO in the old Central High?

Oh yeah you might be right. Well whatever's in the old Central High, it's too boring for that cool building.
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Townsend
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« Reply #368 on: December 09, 2016, 04:24:20 pm »

My only comment concerning ORU was that they moved operations there from the Abundant Life Building. I did say the ABL was beautiful in its day.

But if you must know, I do believe the architecture of ORU is significant and has many beautiful features. I objected to the condescending nature of your comment and assumption of what my opinion must be. Let's throw up an unattractive aerial photo and chuckle that someone might think it has architectural value.

Not condescending.  The campus is ugly as Hell, close up or aerial view.

It's just God-awful. 
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #369 on: December 12, 2016, 09:26:52 am »

There's no point in even discussing it with you... (And for what it's worth, there's a little place called ORU that all operations were moved to from the Abundant Life Building...)

I'm not trying to be hostile.  Oral Roberts Ministries (and later ORU too) didn't abandon the property due to lack of funds.  Nothing of the sort!  He was wildly successful and sold the building when they moved all operations south.

What I was trying to say is that they could have kept that building to maintain a downtown presence if they wanted to. But 20 years after building it they were comfortable walking away.  Oral Roberts went with a radical design for the ORU campus too, even some similar elements, but all the buildings seem to have lots of light.

It isn't a negative against Oral Roberts that he chose to go out on a limb architecturally. Everyone loves the art deco buildings in town (me too), but other than the first couple built in town -  people were just following the crowd towards the best way to show off wealth. It wasn't an artistic gamble. The same for TU's campus, no one goes to TU's campus to see the architecture because it is conservative university architecture found all over, but love it or hate it - people want to see ORU's architecture.  People still come to see it.  I think it would have been awesome if he could have built ORU near downtown (including the towers!), but obviously that presented some serious issues (like acres of open land).

The Abundant Life Building was Oral Robert's first attempt, but when he could it seems like he moved on and left the building behind.  The concepts I have seen on the internet for renovations all seem to include massive changes to the exterior walls to bring in light.  So I think that is the design element that has caused people to pause when considering re-purposing the building.

Thanks for sharing your mom's experience working there.  I wonder if SW Bell added the drop ceilings and other things when dividing the larger spaces?  Sadly, only the pictures of the lobby seem to be in the condition that your mom remembers.  The rest must have been "improved" by the new owner.
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TulsaGoldenHurriCAN
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« Reply #370 on: December 12, 2016, 10:37:47 am »

I'm not trying to be hostile.  Oral Roberts Ministries (and later ORU too) didn't abandon the property due to lack of funds.  Nothing of the sort!  He was wildly successful and sold the building when they moved all operations south.

What I was trying to say is that they could have kept that building to maintain a downtown presence if they wanted to. But 20 years after building it they were comfortable walking away.  Oral Roberts went with a radical design for the ORU campus too, even some similar elements, but all the buildings seem to have lots of light.

It isn't a negative against Oral Roberts that he chose to go out on a limb architecturally. Everyone loves the art deco buildings in town (me too), but other than the first couple built in town -  people were just following the crowd towards the best way to show off wealth. It wasn't an artistic gamble. The same for TU's campus, no one goes to TU's campus to see the architecture because it is conservative university architecture found all over, but love it or hate it - people want to see ORU's architecture.  People still come to see it.  I think it would have been awesome if he could have built ORU near downtown (including the towers!), but obviously that presented some serious issues (like acres of open land).

The Abundant Life Building was Oral Robert's first attempt, but when he could it seems like he moved on and left the building behind.  The concepts I have seen on the internet for renovations all seem to include massive changes to the exterior walls to bring in light.  So I think that is the design element that has caused people to pause when considering re-purposing the building.

Thanks for sharing your mom's experience working there.  I wonder if SW Bell added the drop ceilings and other things when dividing the larger spaces?  Sadly, only the pictures of the lobby seem to be in the condition that your mom remembers.  The rest must have been "improved" by the new owner.


Maybe people used to come into town to see ORU architecture, but I interact with hundred of people visiting Tulsa every year and have never heard anyone ask or mention visiting ORU except for the few coming in town specifically to get their kids moved to ORU or see their graduation. It is a crazy looking "retro futuristic" place. Many buildings remind me of a lot of some buildings that dominate certain Latin American skylines, like something out of Caracas Venezuela or Panama. It really is a campus full of architectural gems (good or bad - they're distinct), and I wish more people cared, but I don't think very many people know about it outside of those involved with ORU and Tulsans.

I have heard visitors on several occasions who weren't here for TU specifically compliment the TU campus saying it is very beautiful.  It may not be the most distinct place architecturally but it might be the nicest campus within a couple hundred miles.
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Townsend
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« Reply #371 on: December 12, 2016, 12:30:37 pm »

Looking at the Abundant Life building just makes me sad.  I look at the houses to the West of it and realize what it most likely took from the area when it was built.

Looking at the ORU campus from the intersection of 81st and Lewis and the massive parking lot...plant a damned tree.

Same goes for the area around Cityplex...trees, anything...


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Bamboo World
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« Reply #372 on: December 12, 2016, 06:08:39 pm »



...Everyone loves the art deco buildings in town...


Everyone?  The former owners of World Publishing didn't seem to be very fond of Art Deco buildings.


...The Abundant Life Building was Oral Roberts' first attempt...


His first attempt at what?  There was another, earlier building, to the north of the Abundant Life Building, at the northwest corner of 17th and Boulder.  In my opinion, the now-demolished older building, constructed in the late 1940s, was more interesting (on its exterior) than the Abundant Life building:  https://www.google.com/maps/@36.1379391,-95.9884417,3a,75y,290.28h,92.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLQn1mXlFsU5DEgaS6_jQLA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


...love it or hate it - people want to see ORU's architecture.  People still come to see it...


I agree.  My experience has been the exact opposite of TulsaGoldenHurriCAN's.  Whenever I mention Tulsa to friends and strangers who live elsewhere, nearly everyone mentions the architecture of ORU.  They're curious about it, and almost always want to see it when they're visiting Tulsa.

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swake
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« Reply #373 on: December 12, 2016, 07:08:00 pm »

Everyone?  The former owners of World Publishing didn't seem to be very fond of Art Deco buildings.

His first attempt at what?  There was another, earlier building, to the north of the Abundant Life Building, at the northwest corner of 17th and Boulder.  In my opinion, the now-demolished older building, constructed in the late 1940s, was more interesting (on its exterior) than the Abundant Life building:  https://www.google.com/maps/@36.1379391,-95.9884417,3a,75y,290.28h,92.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLQn1mXlFsU5DEgaS6_jQLA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I agree.  My experience has been the exact opposite of TulsaGoldenHurriCAN's.  Whenever I mention Tulsa to friends and strangers who live elsewhere, nearly everyone mentions the architecture of ORU.  They're curious about it, and almost always want to see it when they're visiting Tulsa.



Everyone wants to see Six Flags Over Jesus
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #374 on: December 13, 2016, 09:08:33 am »

Everyone?  The former owners of World Publishing didn't seem to be very fond of Art Deco buildings.

"Everyone" was hyperbole.  Though, destroying a building for short-sited and flawed economic reasons (like a little-used parking lot) doesn't necessarily mean you don't like the architectural style.

Quote
His first attempt at what?  There was another, earlier building, to the north of the Abundant Life Building, at the northwest corner of 17th and Boulder.  In my opinion, the now-demolished older building, constructed in the late 1940s, was more interesting (on its exterior) than the Abundant Life building

I did not know that.  Pulled up the records - it appears it was owned under the name "Healing Waters, Inc." which was changed to "Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association, Inc." by Amending the Articles of Incorporation on Feb. 19, 1957, signed by... Oral Roberts as President and Chairman of the Board.  I'm sure this is no surprise to locals, but I did not know that and I didn't spend the time to look up and see if his organization built the 17th and Boulder building or not - so I will take your word for it.
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