Oh, the places we go!

Your favorite Tulsa hotel blogger recently joined intrepid event manager Diane on an afternoon tour of downtown’s fabulous Art Deco district.

The tour — led by Karen Smith of Karen’s Tours — took us into (and in some cases, under and between) six gorgeous buildings. We peeked out windows, walked under streets, met a few mythological characters, and watched a lady close a 55-ton bank vault door all by herself.

Here are some visual highlights:

We started our tour outside the Philcade, 511 S. Boston, where this stone eagle perches above an entrance.

Even the insides of the Philcade’s elevators are gorgeous.

Next stop was the Philtower, 427 S. Boston.

Love this little grotesque above the entrance.

The Philtower’s lobby, with its travertine ceiling and Gothic arches, feels almost like a cathedral.

This tunnel runs under the street and was built to connect the Philtower to the Philcade.

Our third stop was the Atlas Building, 409 S. Boston. I was using a crummy camera and didn’t get very good shots, but there’s a fabulous clock in the lobby.

From the Atlas Building, we continued to the Mid-Continent Building, 401 S. Boston. You can see the lobby above.

Historic photos of downtown Tulsa line the walls in one of the tunnels.

Next stop was the Kennedy Building, 321 S. Boston. The lobby contains an elaborate mural and interesting marble veneer.

Our tour ended in the Exchange Tower, 320 S. Boston.

Check out that ornate ceiling!

The Exchange Tower is also home to Tulsa’s first escalator.

Our tour lasted a little over an hour. Karen is very knowledgeable and shared all kinds of interesting little tidbits of history with us as we explored the buildings with her. To book a tour with her, call (918) 749-2781. Tours are $50 an hour for up to 25 people, and she can customize special tours to suit your specific interests. She recommends scheduling as far in advance as possible to ensure she’s available.

When you finish your tour, cruise over to The Campbell Hotel on Historic Route 66 to spend an evening surrounded by more great Tulsa history. Our Art Deco Room would be the perfect place to end a tour of Tulsa. Call (918) 744-5500 or visit to reserve your room!


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