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Historic Treasure: Kewanee Oil Company

Our friends at CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma loaned us a fascinating collection of photos to share with you.

The commercial real estate firm has its offices in what was once the Kewanee Oil Company headquarters at 1401 S. Boulder. The Kewanee building is a significant piece of history from Tulsa’s oil boom days, so of course we were thrilled when CBRE loaned us the building file for the mid-century structure. Here are a few images from the building’s early days. Those of us of a certain age will find a bit of nostalgia lurking in these photos scanned from the file; for the younger set, these images may provide a fun peek into another era.

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Raising the walls. Check out those gorgeous vehicles parked out front.

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

How great is this kitchen? Love the uber-futuristic stainless steel cabinets, shiny chrome fixtures, and classic refrigerator. What a cool place for a coffee break.

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Look closely to see the unusual bathroom fixtures.

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

When did they stop making those ashtrays with the sandbag bases? (And when was the last time you saw one on a conference table?)

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Those drapes in the background might be the greatest thing ever.

(Mid-century eye candy continues below the fold, so click on over!)

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Raise your hand if you have fond memories of a building somewhere with tiles like this. (Blogger raises hand and sighs, remembering hometown library full of Eames furniture.)

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Tribute to the petroleum industry.

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Check out those sleek marble walls and that tile inlay next to the front door.

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Here’s a closeup of the built-in planter.

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

If my living room looked this cool, I’d never leave the house.

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Oh. Em. Gee. Just LOOK at that coffee table … and the ashtray … and the desk … with rotary-dial phone … and the copy of Collier’s magazine on the coffee table … and, oh, that clock! *Swoon*

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Dear manual typewriter on a rolling stand: I love you. I miss you. I didn’t mean what I said about your keys sticking. I’m sorry I cheated on you with that sleek new Macbook. It wasn’t you; it was me. Please come back. XOXO

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Please note the spectacular geometric pattern on floor and walls; classic electric wall clock; and R2-D2′s adorable younger brother over there next to the door. You just know that trash can has “PUSH” embossed on its metal flap.

Photo by Hopkins Photography Co.; courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Even the climate-control system in this building looks cool.

Many thanks to CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma for sharing these great photos by the late Hopkins Photography Co. Y’all are the best.

Oh, and one last little detail:

Courtesy CB Richard Ellis|Oklahoma

Look at that phone number. Now, close your eyes. Imagine the heft of the receiver in your hand. Don’t worry about the area code; that won’t be a concern for another 60 years. Turn the dial clockwise — zzzzzzzzip! – taking care to bring the black plastic disc all the way around until you feel the cool sliver of metal touch your finger. Listen to it clatter-clatter-clatter softly back to its proper position as you let go. Seven digits. Two letters. Five numbers. Time disappears.

And if you need another little dose of nostalgia, click on over here to listen to a few more sounds that would have been taken for granted at the time the Kewanee Oil building was constructed.

 

 

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