Tulsa Church Building Named National Historic Landmark

Thursday, October 28th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Members of Boston Avenue Methodist Church in Tulsa know it is more than just a building. The church, located at 13th and Boston, is now officially among the nation's most-treasured buildings. It is now a national historic landmark, the only one in Tulsa and only one of a handful in the state.

The tower of Boston Avenue Methodist Church was from the beginning meant to inspire reverence. The designer, Dr. Ada Robinson, set out to build a church that people would want to go inside to worship. The building is noted for its art deco façade. Sculptures of the apostles appear over the doorways and common design elements are used throughout the building to make every room fit the architecture. "I think it really points out the genius of Dr. Robinson, the building committee, and the congregation that began the dream in 1924,” said senior minister Dr. Mouzon Biggs. “It was completed in 1929. We've loved getting to worship in the building for 70 years now."

The congregation numbered only 1,600 when the sanctuary was built. Now, the church must have two Sunday morning for worship services to accommodate the membership. But soon after the church building opened, disaster struck. "They had a difficult time making payments on the building after the stock market crash,” noted Biggs. “The depression followed and it was a really difficult time for the congregation. But they remained faithful to those who loaned them money,” he said. “Finally every payment was met and every penny was paid that was owed on the building."

The church is still one of Tulsa's popular tourist attractions. The Oklahoma Historical Society nominated the church for the honor. Architect Bruce Goff, who’s also known for his residential designs, built the building.