The red in the flags above are just to satisfy the Ruby Tuesday requirement of having something red in the photo. The real reason for this post is the building itself. Recently another blogger, Tulsa Gal posted a banner photo similar to the one below. Click to enlarge and enjoy the detail.
The photo reminded me of one of my favorite buildings in Tulsa, the Fairgrounds Pavilion. I grew up in Tulsa and lived most of my life within a mile of this building.
This grand old lady was built in 1931 with a budget of $800,000. A $500,000 bond issue provided the bulk of the funding. Today, you couldn't buy the terra cotta on this building for $800,000 dollars. In fact, I don't believe you could purchase the terra cotta at the main entrance for $800,000! The Pavilion building has hosted Elvis Presley in 1957, the Ice Capades for many, many years as a part of the Tulsa State Fair, Pro Wrestling, and Tractor Pulls. It fell into disrepair in the early 70's. After a several pitiful attempts to "update" the facility, someone finally took the bull by the horns, and did a proper renovation of this architectural jewel. Below is a detail of the terra cotta panels above the windows. There are three themes. The ram, as shown, a horse, and a bull.
Each corner of the building featured an entry shown below. Personally, I find the arch and the terra cotta decoration just stunning! Again, take a look at the terra cotta panel that is at the top of the building, above the arch.
The ram's head corner details at the main entry just might be the most spectacular detail of all.
The interior of the building has always been very utilitarian. After all, it has to be flexible enough to handle a wide variety of events. Currently the seating configurations range from about 4,800 -5,800 depending on the event and whether or not floor seating is involved. Still, I love the honesty and integrity of the original, exposed structure.
Those involved in this renovation should be very proud of what they have accomplished and Tulsans should be very thankful for those who made this project happen. This is a wonderful building and deserves to serve the community another eighty years.