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Historic Treasure: Hooper Brothers Coffee Company

As promised, our latest entry in our series on Tulsa’s National Register-listed properties should be of interest to anyone who enjoys a good cup of coffee.

Thanks to the confusion created by Tulsa’s Inner Dispersal Loop and downtown’s many one-way streets, the 1924 Hooper Brothers Coffee Company building, 731-733 E. Admiral Blvd., requires some persistence to locate, but those who make the effort will be rewarded with an interesting glimpse of the past.

According to the Tulsa Preservation Commission’s website, Hooper Brothers was in continuous use as a coffee company from 1924 to 1961. White bricks spell out the company name at the top of the building, and its elevated foundation (just the right height for a loading dock), vertical board service doors and ghost signs advertising, “Coffee Roasted Today — So Good — So Different” attest to its original purpose as a roastery.

The building is located near a railroad track, which allowed for easy delivery of raw materials and quick shipping of the finished product. According to the TPC site, the original coffee equipment is gone, but the building still has the only operable hydraulic water elevator in Tulsa.

Information about the company is scarce, and the few facts found online mostly replicate the information from TPC, but the Beryl Ford Collection has a great scan of a 1940 advertising calendar with the company’s name on it:

Photo courtesy The Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.

To get to Hooper Brothers from The Campbell Hotel, take 11th Street to Peoria Avenue. Turn north on Peoria, then take Admiral Boulevard east, veering southeast to cross under the expressways before merging with East First Street and East 43rd Street North. Turn right on Iroquois. Hooper Brothers will be on your right, just north of Admiral Boulevard.

Hooper Brothers is one of more than 50 Tulsa buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you’ve been thinking about taking an educational vacation to learn about the past, why not make Tulsa a destination? Book a room at The Campbell Hotel — which is also listed on the National Register — and spend a few days enjoying an up-close-and-personal encounter with American history. Call (918) 744-5500 or visit www.thecampbellhotel.com to book your room today!

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