Monday, November 2, 2009

Ruby Tuesday


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Again, I have met the letter of the law by colorizing this photo for Ruby Tuesday. It's red, and that meets Mary's requirement. The real reason for this post is to introduce you to perhaps my all time favorite building in my home town, Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Tulsa Union Depot! Even though I haven't lived in Tulsa in a quarter of a century, it's where I grew up, and it will ALWAYS be my hometown.

Like the Fairgrounds Pavilion that I showed you last week, the Tulsa Union Depot was constructed in 1931. The monochromatic stone and precise ornament speak to the machines that it served, the mighty steam engines of the Frisco Railroad. It is a powerful looking building, again paying homage to the power to the trains and to the railroad industry of the day.

My father worked for the Frisco Railroad from 1938 -1983, only taking time out from 1943-1945 for WWII. I have spent many an hour in this building when I was a child. I probably took my last train ride out of this station around 1964. In 1967 passenger service was discontinued and the building was closed.

In 1983 the Williams Companies purchased the building and did a remarkable restoration of the structure.Click on any photo to enlarge and truly enjoy the details. While they are Art Deco in nature, they are inspired by Indian tribal art.

These train stations were the equivalent of today's regional airports. This station had two passenger concourses that led down to the tracks where one would board the train and begin their adventure to anywhere in the U.S.

Since my father worked for the railroad, I traveled free of charge. On an overnight trip, I even got a bedroom. That was waaaay cool! We would leave Tulsa at 9:00 p.m. and pull into St. Louis around 7:00 a.m. the next day. It was a wonderful way to travel. It's been a couple of decades since I visited this building and even longer since I have been inside. It was closed this day, so I'll have to visit again. As I walked around the building, with camera in hand, I was stunned at the beauty of the details and ornament. They don't build 'em like they used to, and they certainly don't build 'em like this anymore.


Today the Tulsa Union Depot is the home of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Somehow, I suppose I was hoping it would be a railroad museum, complete with vintage Frisco passenger trains. Still, I am thrilled that a building of my childhood is standing proud in my hometown and serving a noble purpose. I do love this building.

A black and white photo just seemed an appropriate way to end this post. Enjoy your day.

21 comments:

  1. Driller, a truly gorgeous building! The architectural details are magnificent! Happy Ruby Tuesday! :)

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  2. Hi Driller,

    I loved traveling by rail across the country when I was a kid. We traveled between Califoria and Illinois or Wisconsin depending on where we lived at the time. We had sleeper cars and I whiled away many an hour in the dome cars watching the countryside speed by. These are among my happiest of memories.

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  3. Nothing today is built with such exacting detail. Art-deco looks are always classy, and why not on a train station? This was the view the out-of-towner when they arrived in YOUR town. The classy depot said that you arrived somewhere special. An astoundingly beautiful and loving tribute to your hometown!

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  4. It is a wonderful building with a lot of wonderful detail. I like your creativity in using the red.

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  5. what a gorgeous art deco facade..it looks like ice cream cake in pink..yum!!

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  6. What a great building, with wonderful details. I can see why it is a favorite for you.

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  7. You're right with the word 'powerful'.
    I hoping for you the next time you're there, it'll be open and you'll get to go in once again :)
    I'm sure the insides will bring as much memories for you as the outside.

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  8. What a beautiful building. I love the detail photo. Traveling by train is fun but takes time. I wish I had more time. HRT

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  9. The "Jazz Depot" has great live jazz almost every Sunday afternoon at 5:00 PM. You will be pleased at how tastefully they have converted the interior to a performance space. I think Sue and I may go this next Sunday. Why not join us?

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  10. I love you bloggers who share such a wonderful history of where you live! This is one awesome post Driller!!

    Mine's posted. "I came, HE SAWED, we conquered."

    Here's the permalink to Tuesday's entry.

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  11. What a beautiful building. They just don't build them like that anymore. Thank goodness that we took pride in what we built at one time or all of our cities would be falling down!

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  12. Gorgeous photos and a fascinating building!

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  13. More beautiful architecture the details are gorgeous!

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  14. It's so much fun to notice all the great details on older buildings like this. Very nice...

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  15. Those are some amazing details on the buildings and I enjoyed reading your post.

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  16. They certainly don't build them like this anymore is an understatement. What a wonderful childhood memory.

    Have a great day. Big hug. :)

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  17. We've been meaning to take a train trip for awhile now. It just seems like such a quaint way to travel.

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  18. Great photos! and very interesting post. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Nancy
    TulsaGal

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