Oklahoma's Blair Mansion To Be Demolished Saturday

Friday, January 31st 2014, 9:48 pm
By: News On 6

The Blair Mansion, which has become one of Tulsa's iconic sights right off Riverside Drive, is scheduled to be demolished Saturday.

News of the intentions were made public hours before crews are scheduled to raze the building.

The Blair Mansion, owned by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, currently sits on land that is going to be a part of "A Gathering Place for Tulsa," a new 66-acre park.

Read more about the plans for "A Gathering Place for Tulsa"

The original plan was to reportedly move the home, but the owner said a study revealed the neighborhood streets were too narrow, trees would have to be removed and the house couldn't fit through the underpasses to get out of the neighborhood without significant damages.

Daniel Buford, who has lived in the home and was responsible for it after selling the property to the GKFF to build the park, released a letter explaining his decision to demolish the house.

"To My Fellow Tulsans,

It has been my great pleasure to reside in the Blair Mansion at 2800 S Boston Ave. in this great city of Tulsa. The property on which the house resides will soon become a part of A Gathering Place for Tulsa, a planned 66.5-acre park along Riverside Drive. As many of you know, the house was never part of the park design. Recognizing that, I took responsibility for the future of the home.

"From the very beginning of the project, I intended to relocate the house, and I have spent more than a year exploring how to move it to an alternate location. A local construction firm conducted an extensive study and assessment to evaluate the feasibility of relocation.

"Given the evaluation results, it is my deepest regret to inform the public that relocation is not feasible, and the Blair Mansion will be deconstructed.

"Logistical challenges were a major deciding factor. Due to the size and current location of the house, as well as the bridge restrictions in the area, it is not possible to move the structure under the overpasses on the only exit routes available without significant damage to or deconstruction of the structure. Moving it through neighborhood streets is also not feasible and would result in damage to streets and property. Additionally, parcels of land that could accommodate the house are not available within the immediate area.

"This has been a very difficult decision for me, and I want to assure the citizens of Tulsa that I explored every option before coming to this conclusion.

As sad as I am about taking the structure down, I am equally excited about the future of this property and the enjoyment and benefits it will bring to our residents and visitors. A Gathering Place for Tulsa will be a one-of-a-kind park for Tulsans of all ages to enjoy for generations to come, and I am doing my part to support this outstanding endeavor."