Scaled Back Dreams – Pythian Building

The Pythian Building in Tulsa, sometimes called the Gillette Tyrell Building started construction in 1929. Originally it was going to be a 3 story office building with a 10 story office tower. That topped with a penthouse. The stock market crash happened though and the owners did not build the hotel tower. This story sound familiar?

The exterior is mildly interesting if one knows what to look for. There is a lot of tilework set into the terra cotta. Really it is a an understated building on the outside.

The interior is another story. It is L shaped and has spectacular tilework on the floor and walls in shades of blues, reds, and creams. The ceiling of the lobby has a fake skylight that uses etched glass.

The tiles are durable also. I am told that the floor tiles have never been replaced. The building is fully occupied and the present owners are taking very good care of it.

The detailing of the tile work is wonderful. No two patterns are alike.

I’m told that this type of Art Deco decoration is called “zig zag.” Sounds good to me.

A local architect, I cannot remember his name, likened the effect to a 3D persian carpet wrapped around you. I loved that description.
To see other visions of the world check out “My World.”

16 thoughts on “Scaled Back Dreams – Pythian Building

  1. Dawn

    I really am enjoying these field trips through Tulsa that you are doing. I’ve lived here for a long time and didn’t know anything about the buildings. Thank you! 🙂

  2. Carol

    How might one get to see the interior space? Can I just walk in off the street? Would love to see the interior on one of my monthly off-the-farm trips to Town.

  3. Gaelyn

    This building is a fantastic example of art deco. I absolutely love the tile work. Excellent tour of a building I doubt I’ll ever visit. Thank you.

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