June 5, 2017
I traveled to Bartlesville, in northeast Oklahoma, for one reason – to spend the night. Specifically to spend the night in Price Tower.
(Photo credit: mapsofworld.com)
When I visited the home of Walmart headquarters in northwest Arkansas earlier in this trip I picked up maps and brochures for the area, one of which mentioned Price Tower. Price Tower was designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Those of you who have followed this blog for the past two years know of my mild obsession with Mr. Wright’s work.
Harold Price commissioned Mr. Wright to design an office building for his oil pipeline and chemical business based in Bartlesville. Mr. Wright designed this 19-story tower.
The significance of the “66” in the first building photo is that Bartlesville was also the corporate headquarters for Phillips Petroleum, whose gasoline brand was Phillips 66 (a reference to Route 66).
I learned that Price Tower was subsequently sold to Phillips (which seems to own just about everything in Bartlesville) and a portion of it is now a hotel. I broke my routine of staying primarily in Airbnb’s during my trips and booked a night here.
I stayed on the 8th floor and after checking in, took the elevator up to my floor. This was, by far, the smallest elevator I have ever been in. The only way I could think to convey this in a photo was to take a picture of my feet.
I didn’t check the “Cherie Berry” certificate to see what the maximum occupancy was but it can’t have been more than 3 or 4. For those of you not living in North Carolina, that is a reference to our long-time Labor Secretary whose photo is in every elevator in the state (her department inspects elevators for safety and issues certificates with her photo and signature).
The common area to the hotels rooms on the 8th floor wasn’t exactly spacious either.
The room itself was nice. An odd shape due to the footprint of the building, but well used space.
There was a large book on the desk in the room which explained the history of the building and included lots of photographs of it’s construction and how it appeared back in the day. The building now has an art museum on the lower floors (I’d be leaving in the morning before they would be open), several floors of hotel rooms and several floors of offices.
This was the view from my room:
There is a restaurant and bar on the top floor but it was not open the one night of the week I happened to be there. I was also very disappointed to find that another restaurant in town which has an excellent reputation, Murphy’s Original Steak House, was also closed, the sign on the door indicating that the closure was only temporary. I walked around downtown in the early evening and ending up having a few slices of pizza.