BOk Tower Celebrates Its 30th Birthday

Wednesday, November 1st 2006, 10:15 am
By: News On 6

There was a big building birthday in Tulsa Wednesday. On November 1st, 1976, The BOk Tower opened its doors for the first time. 30 years later, it's still the tallest building in Oklahoma.

News on 6 reporter Steve Berg took a quick tour of the Tulsa landmark as they mark the milestone. Richard George is at his office in the BOk Tower, just like he was back in 1976. He's worked here for 30 years for the Williams Companies. "Well, Everyone was pretty excited."

George says it was a big deal when the building opened back then. And even to this day it's regarded by most as Oklahoma's premier business address. "Some buildings age better than others I think and this one's style is kind of a classic from the 70's really." The original building model called for two 25-story towers. But the story goes that John Williams picked up one model and plunked it on top of the other and said what about this. And that's what happened.

52-stories, 667 feet tall, you can see for 40 miles. It has 1.1 million square feet. And has a $1.2 million electric bill per year. “Just this building alone has 3-thousand, up to 5-thousand people. It's like a small city." Curtis Williams has been the building's operations manager for 25 years. He says if we were to get a storm, nature and the lighting rods ringing the roof, would provide some birthday candles. "When you're on the roof and there's a lighting storm coming in, you'll see on every one of these, about three-quarters to an inch, it's just arcing constantly. But that's when it's time to go."

Just some of the quirks of a giant building, and yes, sometimes it sways when the wind blows. Richard George: "There have been a couple of times in 30 years where it's been enough that people jump up from their desks and go out in the hall and look at each other."

With a medical clinic, a post office, a cafeteria, bank, fitness center, it is like a small city. You could almost live your whole life here. "My favorite part is that I met my wife in this building, so that' s probably the best part."