Friday, February 10, 2006

Oral Roberts University In Decay

As much of the ORU campus reaches 40 years old, many of the post-modern buildings and fountains are really showing their age.

Lost Tulsa visitor Trey Callaway passed on these great photos with the following comments:

"...even though it isn't technically lost yet - an old Tulsa
pal of mine named Craig Thurston (now living in Chicago) just went
back to T-Town for a funeral a couple months ago and thankfully
accepted my suggestion that he take a few moments to go shoot some
amateur photos of the ORU campus, which I had heard was falling into
major disrepair. I suppose it was probably some kind of sacrilege,
but as South Tulsa brats, we often used to go there at night during
our junior high days with packs of other kids to play hide and seek
among the "Jetsonian" 64 World's Fair influenced architecture that
stood out like no buildings in town.

As you can see from a few of the attached photos, however, the place
is really starting to look like an unholy mess (bad pun, I know) and
I honestly wonder how much longer it will be before at least some of
its memorable structures wind up being added to the list of Lost
Tulsa sites. Kinda has that Heritage USA feel about it, no?"

Since I was also a South Tulsan as a kid, I spent my fair share of time over on this campus, and it truly was like visiting Six Flags Over Jesus. I can only imagine how much fun it must have been to play hide and seek as a preteen, using these buildings as backdrop. It's a very unique place. These pics definitely make me want to schedule some time to head south and see a bit of the decline firsthand.

That campus is crazy in soooo may ways. The interiors are just as insane. There are some places that REALLY feel like a Star Wars set.
During my 1 semester there, I used to walk around and look at all the buildings and wonder what the hell I was thinking.
When they were moving praying hands from the old "City of Faith", at first the hands kept falling over palms up.Later,Victory Christian Center has just about completed building their new center and the hands are able to stay upright!
It may look strange..but great young adults go to school there!! I spent time there and am glad to call it my College home.
Hi there...just passing through on a google for Showbiz Pizza and found all these great photos. Funny you should mention Heritage USA as I have a collection of photos of the property at it's lowest point here. Most were taken in 2002-2003 and since then, the property was purchased by some fundamentalist prophetic ministry and most of the decay and destruction has been eliminated. For reasons I cannot entirely explain, that saddens me.
Actually, those crumbling steps in that photo set were there when I went to school there in 1989-2003. The place is a shithole. Pretty funny considering how much money their "ministry" takes from old people.
I'm proud to be an ORU grad. There are some great things going on now, and the campus will start improving. ORU is very aware of some problems, and is doing the right things to fix them. No college campus is perfect. I've been to plenty of campuses, and they all have their downfalls. Money comes in a lot better when your basketball team goes to the NCAA Tournament two straight years.
The pictures of the steps are from the backside of the Graduate Center building. People don't even walk on that side or enter the building. The fountain has water in it right now and it looks great. They've improved the landscaping this year as well. They've put flat screen tv's in the building and really made the entrance first class. These pictures don't tell the whole story, and are a little below the belt. This whole thing is a little crazy. Give me a call and I'll show you the good things about ORU's campus. 495-7213
I have to make sure that everyone realizes that the comments posted here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Lost Tulsa. This particular photoset was not even done by myself. I've always been fascinated with "urban decay" and the futuristic architecture of ORU juxtaposed with crumbling decay just thrills me. It's no commentary on the school itself. I'm sure every campus has its less used and neglected areas. This isn't intended as a slam on the university, but rather an artistic view of aging modern structures.
You've got your architectural styles wrong. This is not post-modernism; it is Late-Modernism.

I guess ORU doesn't have an art history or architecture program.
"Money comes in a lot better when your basketball team goes to the NCAA Tournament two straight years."

Somehow I don't think the problem is how much money is coming in as much as where it's actually going.
Looks like maybe TV evangelists have seen the end. Michael Tidwell of Tidwell Creative
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