For our 2014 Block Party, resident Bruce Lemmon coordinated a trolley tour of Riverview highlighting points of interest along a 30-minute route. Summary of these historic sights, taken from his tour guide, is below on this page. The tour map and accompanying Tour Route document can be downloaded at the bottom.

Riverview Historic Homes and Points of Interest

  • Fire Station No. 5 (102 E 18th, 1932)
    Replaced original station in 1917. Brass fire pole, oldest station currently in use by TFD.
  • Veterans Park
    War memorial dedicated July 4, 1944
  • Former Holland Hall School (1850 S Boulder)
    Featured classrooms, a science lab and gymnasium and used by the school until 1931. Sold to Aero Exploration in 1938, and in 1947 was “modernized” in the late Art Deco style “Art Moderne,” becoming the headquarters of KTUL-TV, the same year the Art Moderne Phoenix Cleaners was built at 18th & Cincinnati.

Buena Vista Park Addition

  • Sheppard House (1904 S Cheyenne, 1916)
    Constructed by John Sheppard, founder of Sheppard Oil Co. Was used to shelter black families during the 1921 race riot.
  • Crestview Manor (1830 S Cheyenne, 1919)
    The only Italian Renaissance-style house in Buena Vista Park development, otherwise dominated by Prairie-style, Craftsman, and Colonial-revival. Given by Robt. McFarlin to his daughter and her husband. Sold it in 1939 and moved to the McFarlin Mansion on Carson.
  • J.O. Campbell House (1826 S Cheyenne, 1917)
    A house on the site was cut in half and moved to the Veterans Park area to make way for this house. Portions of the original carriage path and steps remain in the basement.
  • James Alexander Veasey House (1802 S Cheyenne, 1912)
    Veasey was the founder of Holland Hall. Short on cash, he constructed the house out of wood instead of stone, leaving the wooden quoins as a reminder of his humble beginnings. Came to Oklahoma Territory with the Dawes Commission and retired as chief counsel of Standard Oil of New Jersey. Carried water from a spring on Carson because city water was considered unfit to drink.
  • Council Oak Tree
    Bur Oak chosen by Lochapoka Clan of the Creeks as a “busk ground” (ceremonial dance ground celebrating the first fruit of the harvest, centered around a fire and pole with skull of cow on top). Ashes (or coals?) brought from Alabama, and established their town on this site until the 1880s. In 1907 it was once again used for a ceremony commemorating statehood and thus marking the end of the Creek Nation.
  • Dresser Mansion (235 W 18th, 1919-1920)
    Spanish Eclectic. During renovation a false wall was discovered off the game room in the basement revealing an abandoned wine cellar.
  • Moore Manor (228 WE 17th, 1918)
    Frank Moore started as a drilling contractor and eventually established a vast oil empire. One of the grandest houses between Buena Vista Park and Stonebreaker Heights.
  • University Club Towers (1966)
    Purportedly the first major building designed by a computer; together with the Mansion House, classic Jet Age architecture. On the site of a house called the “Showplace of Tulsa,” built in 1916 by Josh Cosden. It featured an indoor pool, first lighted tennis courts with imported English clay. Hence the “Mansion House.”

Stonebreaker Heights

  • McFarlin Mansion (1610 S Carson, 1918)
    His company operated the Glenn Pool and in 1910 he and Harry Sinclair, among others, organized the Exchange National Bank, now BOK. Italian Renaissance-style; original construction cost: $13,500. One of the first reinforced concrete residences in the Southwest USA. Home to McCormack Studios for decades.
  • Cosden House (aka “Mission Manor”, 1606 S Carson, 1912)
    Craftsman bungalow was the most expensive house in Tulsa to that date. Josh Cosden was called the “Prince of Petroleum,” sold the house to James Chapman to move into the “Tulsa Showplace” down the street. Later lost his fortune and suffered a scandalous divorce — like Mr. Dresser.
  • The Wrightsman (1645 S Cheyenne, 1914)
    Originally an attorney’s house, only survivor of four corner mansions at this intersection. The building has passed through many hands, was briefly a reception venue. It has come full-circle and is currently a law office.
  • George Bole House (1718 S Cheyenne, 1919)
    Built by Italian artisans, Bole sold it in 1926 to found Bolewood Acres at 41st and Lewis.
  • Steps to the Harry Sinclair House (1919)
    Founder of Sinclair Oil Company and co-founder of Exchange National Bank (later BOK), while living in the house that once occupied this site was convicted in the Teapot Dome scandal and served 6.5 months in prison. Also owned a mansion on Fifth Avenue in NYC, where his oil company headquarters were located.
  • Abundant Life Building (1700 block of S Boulder, 1958)
    Built to house Oral Robers Ministries, termed “one of Tulsa’s finest” structures and a peek into the city’s future. Seven floors, no windows (supposedly to reduce energy costs but could also have been in part for security measures included in the design). TV sound stage used for weekly broadcasts. Ministries’ activities moved to the campus of ORU in the early 1970s, after which SW Bell occupied the building for several years. Abandoned since the early 1980s.

Riverview Historic District

  • Sophian Plaza (1500 S Frisco, 1928)
    One of the first high-rise apartment houses in Tulsa, built by a KC doctor who built a sister building near the Plaza. When it opened, it offered a restaurant, deli, tennis courts, beauty shop, room and maid service. Servants quarters in the basement, with larger apartments featuring upstairs quarters for white servants. Most of the elegant features, including antiques and oriental rugs, were removed in the 1960s and the building fell into disrepair. Local ownership brought back much of its former glory beginning in the 1970s.
  • McBirney Mansion (1414 S Galveston, 1927-28)
    Gothic Revival built by John Long, like Dr. Sophia from KC. Mcburney Springs has its source in an underground stream that surfaces here near the Arkansas. A stock watering hole for pioneers before crossing the river. Washington Irving stopped here in 1832 and found it so beautiful he wrote about it. Later it was the ferry b=landing serving travel between Tulsa and Red Fork before a bridge was constructed. James Mcburney and his brother formed the Bank of Commerce and built two of Tulsa’s earliest skyscrapers.
  • Riverside Studio (aka “Spotlight Theatre,” 1929)
    Reflects both Art Deco and International styles. Patty Adams Shriner built it as a home that would include a music studio/recital hall; the rectangular stair-step windows represent musical notation. She lost the home to the bank in 1933; purchased in 1941 and used once again as a residence and drama studio. The Tulsa Spotlighters first performed “The Drunkard” here in 1953 and acquired the building in 1962. It has purportedly the longest-running play in the USA.
  • Avery Plaza (2008)
    Dedicated to the “Father of Route 66” Cyrus Avery. Flags are of the eight states traversed by Route 66. “East Meets West” is a bronze sculpture, 135 percent actual size, weighing approximately 20,000 pounds. The sculpture features Avery and his family riding in a Model-T as they encounter a horse-drawn carriage on its way from the west Tulsa oil fields.
  • Cry Baby Hill (future construction)
    This year the Riverview Neighborhood Association won a grant to construct a small plaza featuring landscaping and innovative design including bioswale and permeable paving. It will create a public viewing space for Tulsa’s premier bike race, Tulsa Tough, at perhaps its most challenging point.
  • Holy Trinity Greek Church (1222 S Guthrie, constructed 1928 at 1101 S Guthrie, demolished and rebuilt 1968-69 to accommodate IDL)
    Founded by Greek immigrants warn by the oil boom in an area previously known as the “Gold Coast,” so names for the elegant houses in the neighborhood, the Mcburney being perhaps the grandest example. Later known as “Little Athens,” heart of the Greek community and one of Tulsa’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods. Every year the church hosts a Greek Festival, Tulsa’s oldest ethnic festival, drawing 4000-5000 people to enjoy Mediterranean food, dancing, and culture. Tours of the Church are offered.
  • Kerr House (1312 S Guthrie, 1921)
    Mission-style with clay-tiled, hipped roof. Patrick Kerr enjoyed the house only eight years before losing his fortune in the Crash of 1929.
  • Clinton-Hardy House (1322 S Guthrie, 1919-20)
    Strong New England flavor, significant in directing the growth of residences south of the downtown business district. One of the first houses overlooking the river. Amelia Earhart was a guest here in 1934. Architect George Winkler designed the house, as well as Holy Family Cathedral, Central High School, Trinity Episcopal, and the Mayo Hotel.
  • Nelle Shields Jackson House (1403 S Guthrie, 1922)
    Also New England-style clapboard house, once the home of Nelle Shields Jackson, who opened Miss Jackson’s, first in the Philtower Building before moving to Utica Square.

Riverview Neighborhoods Oldest Houses

  • 1415 S Elwood (1905)
    Oldest house actually constructed in the neighborhood, pre-Statehood. Architecturally different from its neighbors.
  • 1401 S Elwood (1910)
    Small house, pyramidal roof indicates it predates Craftsman bungalows and American Foursquare architecture.
  • Perryman Home (1313 S Elwood, constructed downtown in 1892 and moved in 1909 to present location)
    Moved because the new courthouse was to be built on the site at 6th and Cincinnati. The Perrymans, Creek Indians, chose a site not too far from the Council Oak and not too far from the McBirney Springs; the family basically founded Tulsa.
  • Paloduro Development (repurposed construction at 13th and Denver, 2014)
  • 12th and Denver
    Site of Riverview Elementary School, the neighborhood’s namesake (demolished 1975 for the IDL)

Carlton Place

  • Carlton Place Arch Pillars (14th and Carson, 1909)
    Prairie School and Craftsman bungalows built mainly between 1910 and 1915. A second arch stood at 14th and Cheyenne but was later demolished along with the eastern half of the addition. “M” on pillars stands for Magee, the original developer of the neighborhood. Significant example of an upper middle-class housing development related to Tulsa’s first oil boom.
  • 1406 S Carson (1909)
    Oldest house in the Carlton Place Addition
  • Original Temple Israel Synagogue (1320 S Cheyenne, 1919)
    Petroleum Geologist Julius Fohs pledged 15 percent of the building’s cost, and 250 people attended the dedication on October 17, 1919. The congregation used it until 1931, when and was purchased at 1602 S Rockford. Abandoned for decades and gutted by fire in 2008, Tulsa developer Aaron Meek is repurposing the building as a loft-style residence.
  • International Plaza (14th and Boulder, 1957)
    Designed by Bruce Graham, who also designed the Sears (now Willis) Tower and Inland Steel Building in Chicago. One of his first examples of the International style for which he became famous. Originally the headquarters of Warren Petroleum. Nationally architecturally significant for the period.

Here are links to the route map and tour description, and also a Walking Tour booklet as PDFs:

Riverview Tour Route Map

Riverview Tour Route

Riverview Walking Tour booklet