Sunday, June 26, 2005

Tulsa Signage Pt. 1

I run across some very interesting signage when wandering around Tulsa. Here's a mixed up collection of signs that caught my eye.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Mayo Meadow Shopping
21st and South Yale

Update: December 20th, 2005. KOTV's Steve Berg just called to get permission to use some of the nightshots of the Mayo Meadow Shopping center. He says that demolition is already underway this week.


Mayo Meadows was constructed on the SW corner of 21st and S. Yale in 1955. It is now very close to being razed for a new Walmart Neighborhood Market. I'm sure that many living nearby are happy to hear they will have a grocery store on that corner again. Michael D. Bates of Batesline makes some very interesting comments about the new store and how it could help that area pass the Popsicle test.

Update: June 28, 2005 11:15pm

There is a cool little neighborhood diagonal across Yale from Mayo Meadow. It's called Lortondale. The architectural style of the subdivision is mirrored in the design of Mayo Meadow, which was build a year later. They have a very nice web site for Lortondale with some great history on the subdivision and its builders' vision. The Historic Overview and Gallery should be checked out.

From their web page: "The 1950’s was a time of the space-age, when everyone was looking to the future and all the wonders it may contain. Howard C. Grubb and Donald H. Honn wanted to bring a part of that future vision to the average American of moderate means, and gave us Lortondale. We Lortondale residents are grateful for their efforts and hope all visitors to our website are too."

1960s-Era Safeway

This former Safeway store, located just off SH51 near downtown is a beautiful example of this era's grand arched buildings.

A great place to see more photos and read about Safeway stores of the 60s, check out the 60s Safeway page at In particular, I've wasted more than a few minutes checking out some pics of several stores who still have all of their vintage interiors. It's like stepping back in time.

Seems very few of these style buildings are being torn down. Most of the time, they end up occupied by a myriad of different local businesses. Seeing this building has tuned my eye to this style, so I'll probably follow up someday with some pics of different occupied former Safeway stores. This would be very similar to the former Quik Trip building collection that I'm working on.

Northland Shopping Center
36th St. North & Hartford

Built in the late-50s / early-60s by I.A. "Jake" Jacobson, the developer of Ranch Acres and other retail centers in Tulsa, Northland Shopping Center was the first full-line open air shopping center in North Tulsa. It had a full complement of stores, including Dillard's and JC Penney's until right around 1980.

A Tulsan who shopped there during his childhood years says "There was a Firestone car repair on the corner out front. A Western Auto behind the Froug's, a Borden's cafeteria, a Texaco across the street, a Brown Dunkin on the other side of Hartford, TG&Y; on the west end and a grocery store on the east end. The Froug's caved in one day after a heavy downpour, and later closed. The place was as classy as Southland up until the late 60s, and looked similar in design.....Many other stores that I just can't remember (I was just a kid)."

Another person remembers "Downtown Tulsa was the ideal Christmas shopping spot until the late sixties but do you remember Northland? It was the one of the first, one of the three largest shopping centers in the U.S. (world?). They always had big promotions and it was such an awesome place to shop at Christmas. The end for Northland came with the opening of Southland and South Roads."

As more and more North Tulsans headed south for their shopping, so did the fortunes of Northland. After becoming severly blighted, it closed around 1990. Sometime in the mid-90's, it was revived as a home for a community outreach center, then in April 2003 the following announcement was made by the Tulsa Metro Chamber:

Northland Renovation Planned
Neighbor for Neighbor announced plans for a $3.2 million project to renovate the former Northland Shopping Center for its new offices, retail and a school. The plan calls for extensive renovation of the outside structure and remodeling of space to accommodate the new tenants. Ground was broken on April 29th (2003) and the facility will be renamed Northland.

I took these pics (well, except the satellite shot) on May 5th, 2003, a few days after ground-breaking and have not revisited this site since they started renovation. I will do my best to follow up soon, and see what progress they have made.

Welcome to Lost Tulsa

Lost Tulsa is a hobby/project that I've been working on for a few years. I first lived in Tulsa from May 1980 - Nov 1987. Upon moving back in May 2002, I started trying to photodocument the many structures and landmarks that I remember from my High School and College years. This urge to preserve a memory of a place, mixed with my love for the pop culture and design of past generations has turned this simple project into a non-cohesive, rambling collection of photos. The collection covers abandoned, restored and otherwise modified places and structures in Tulsa. Some are significant for their style or representation of an era. Some are significant merely in my mind, due to what they represented to me in the past.

I'm aware that I'm not the only one doing this type of thing. I certainly do not mean to step on any toes, as I'm doing this simply as a hobby. I felt the urge to share these photos since, until recently, there was very little content on this subject available online. I will be slowly compiling and posting various locations with galleries and as much information as I can find on them. They'll be posted in no particular order and no particular frequency.

I hope you find my odd obsession marginally interesting. If so, drop a comment on any of the posts.