Mid-Continent Tower

Once known as “The Costen Building”, originally 16 floors tall, today it is one of the most prominent skyscrapers of downtown Tulsa.

The Tudor-Gothic Revival building, the first skyscraper in the city is a model of successful building vertical expansion and architectural heritage preservation. The new volume was built as a suspended, cantilevered tower, partially resting on a twin of the historic original, and partly “hanging in the air” adding 20 more floors and doubling the girth of the base and overall height of the building. The true expertise of the builders reflects in the fact that the seams between the two can’t be discerned with certainty. Every terracotta detail, every spire and cornice segment of the old facade is meticulously copied into the new one, leaving the impression of a unanimous whole. The new top of the building, a three story stained glass dome, formed by terracotta arches tops the building perfectly, replicating era and style.

The only indication of the intervention is inconsistent symmetry of the tower that has left a narrow roof terrace at top of the first structure and a small gesture, a different colored granite plinth of the ground floor.

Grand in both its editions, this elaborately ornamented building would make a proud addition to the skyline of any American city.

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Love architecture? Purchase this exclusive photo of the Guggenheim by Stephen Je