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Wright’s only skyscraper, the Price Tower is also one of only two Wright structures to have a vertical orientation (the other being the Johnson Wax Research Tower).

Built

1952

Client

Harold C. Price

Address

Northeast Sixth St. at Dewey Ave.

Status

National Historic Landmark. National Register of Historic Places. Open to the public with tours available.

Website

The inspiration for the oil pipeline firm’s “tower in a country town” was an unrealized 1925 proposal of Wright’s for a New York City apartment building called St. Mark’s Tower. Wright described the design as a tree-like mast supported by a central “trunk” of four elevator shafts anchored by a deep central foundation. The Price Tower’s 19 concrete floors cantilever like branches of a tree. Freed from their load-bearing function, the exterior walls become ornamental screens decorated in patinated copper “leaves” and gold-tinted glass. The materials for the Price Tower were equally innovative for the era: cast concrete walls, pigmented concrete floors, and aluminum-trimmed windows and doors. The Price Tower completely changed the horizon of the Oklahoma prairie town. Purchased in 1981 by Phillips Petroleum, the Price Tower Arts Center now includes a museum, hotel and bar. The Inn at Price Tower occupies seven of the upper floors of the Wright skyscraper.

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