Tulsa Art Deco Museum
Situated in the lobby of the historic Philcade Building is a small but unique museum called the Tulsa Art Deco Museum. It is operated by the DECOPOLIS store across the street, which sells Art Deco-inspired gifts. The museum's exhibits are in the lobby's window displays and each showcases a specific collection of items. These include clothing worn by local sewist Sigrid Hinkle, cardboard picture frames, the Blane Snodgrass Private Collection (this features a number of different items), 1980s Art Deco, Egyptian Art Deco, fishbowl stands, smoke stands, yearbooks, and orginal objects from the Tulsa Club Building.
Backstory and Context
The Philcade Building was constructed in 1931 by local businessman Wait Phillips, who also built the historic Philtower Building across the street. The Philcade once featured a shopping center on the first two floors; this was the city's first indoor shopping mall. Today, it appears that the entire building is use for office space. So as to not compete architecturally with the Philtower Biuilding, Phillips had the Philcade Building designed in a more understated Art Deco style. As such, the Philcade Building represents a phase of the Art Deco style in Tulsa, which has its roots in the French Moderne school of design. The Philcade Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 for its architectural significance.
An interesting feature of the building is the tunnel that connects it to the Philtower Building. The eighty-foot tunnel was built in 1929; its purpose was to provide a secure way for Phillips to travel to and from each building (he lived in a penthouse at the top of the Philcade and had an office at the top floor of the Philtower). At the time, wealthy people were often kidnapped and held for ransom. The tunnel enabled Phillips to avoid any chance of being kidnapped.
"About." Tulsa Art Deco Museum. Accessed August 15, 2019. http://tulsaartdecomuseum.com/blog/about.
Danielson, Bert R. "Philcade Building." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. September 18, 1986. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/0d03da82-f765-47ed-93c1-c24801327edc.
"The Philcade." Tulsa Art Deco Museum." Accessed August 15, 2019. http://tulsaartdecomuseum.com/blog/the-philcade-2.
Wikimedia Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Historic_Places_listings_in_Tulsa_County,_Oklahoma#/media/File:Philcade_in_downtown_Tulsa.jpg