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Historic treasure: Tulsa Fire Alarm Building

NOTE: This is the first in a weekly series of articles about the architectural masterpieces in Tulsa that have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many thanks to the Tulsa Preservation Commission for its extensive website, which is a marvelous starting point for anyone interested in learning more about Tulsa’s historic and architectural treasures.

Easily one of Tulsa’s most ornate structures, the Tulsa Fire Alarm Building, 1010 E. Eighth St., was built in 1934 to house the city’s then-state-of-the-art fire alarm reporting center. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The building, designed by Frederick V. Kershner, features elaborate Mayan-inspired terra cotta friezes that represent the structure’s purpose. Check out these incredible details:

According to the Tulsa Preservation Commission’s website, the building was constructed as a central reporting station for all the fire alarms in the city. Firefighters in the building would receive an alarm, then alert the firehouse closest to the blaze to ensure the fastest possible response.

The building served in that capacity until 1984, when it was vacated. It now serves as the local headquarters for the American Lung Association — a fitting use for a structure that spent its first 50 years of existence protecting Tulsans’ lungs from smoke inhalation.

If you’ve never seen this gorgeous building, put it on your “bucket list,” and schedule a trip to Tulsa to see it and the rest of our historic treasures as soon as you can.

While you’re in town, treat yourself to a night or two in another National Register-listed property — the luxurious Campbell Hotel. Call (918) 744-5500 to reserve your room.

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