Districts in the National Register of Historic Places

Riverview Historic District

Significant Properties

1. PATRICK M. KERR HOUSE (1312 South Guthrie Avenue) 1921

Kerr House Patrick M. Kerr, a wealthy oil refiner, built this home eight years before losing his fortune in 1929. This handsome, stucco-clad, Mission style house features a clay-tiled, hipped roof and a full-width, single story porch partially covered by a flat-roof supported by massive, stucco columns. In addition to the windows which feature an unusual decorative pane pattern, the house features several eye-catching, ornamental, blue tile wall decorations.

2. CLINTON-HARDY HOUSE (1322 South Guthrie Avenue) 1919-20

Clinton-Hardy House The Clinton-Hardy House has a strong New England flavor. The exterior lapped siding, simple rectangular shape, gable roof, and exterior trim work all evoke an image of 18th century colonial America. The symmetrical main block of the house carefully directs the eye to a Georgian entrance with flanking Doric columns, arched pediment, and dentil trim. The entrance door, sidelights, and fan light are actually older than the house itself, having been brought to Tulsa from a pre-Civil War residence in the French Quarter of New Orleans while construction was under way.

The house has significance for its role in the development of Tulsa, specifically its influence in directing Tulsa’s growth to the south of the downtown district. It was designed by George Winkler, an architect who rarely worked in residential architecture. The Clinton house was one of the first two of any size to be built on the bluff overlooking the Arkansas River south of the business area. Prior to its construction, the more prominent individuals built their homes either to the north of downtown or the near southeast. The result of Clinton’s move was the completion of Galveston and Guthrie Avenues with several other period houses of architectural importance. The Skellys, McBirneys, and others prominent in oil and banking were frequent guests in the house. Amelia Earhart was a guest in this house in 1934.

The Clinton-Hardy House was individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places on January 23, 1979 under Criteria C. Its NRIS number is 79002027.

3. NELLE SHIELDS JACKSON HOUSE (1403 South Guthrie Avenue) 1922

Jackson House This two-story New England Clapboard or Georgian building was once the home of Nelle Shields Jackson, one of Tulsa’s earliest female entrepreneurs. In 1929, Jackson opened Miss Jackson’s, a fashionable women’s apparel shop in the Philtower Building. The apparel shop has continued to prosper and is now located in the exclusive Utica Square Shopping Center.

4. BIRD HOUSE (1411 South Galveston Avenue) 1924

Bird House This Tudor Revival style home features clinker brick and limestone trim with stone sidewalks. An offset entry bay projects forward of a larger south bay of the same height. The entry is accented by false piers and has a flat cornice above the door with an inset panel of entablature containing a simple chevron design. This home was built by James H. McBirney for his sister, Mrs. Caroline Bird. She was the first occupant of the home and lived there until the 1960s.

5. McBIRNEY HOUSE (1414 South Galveston Avenue) 1927-28

McBirney House The McBirney Mansion represents a happy blending of building and setting. The brick, stone, and stucco house was built by John Long of Kansas City. It is proportioned on a grand scale, befitting its Gothic Revival style, and is meticulously crafted. Landscaping features fine magnolias and cedars, a grotto, and a rock-lined walk that make effective use of the spring that gave the site its original importance. McBirney Springs has its source in an underground stream that surfaces here near the Arkansas River. The site was used by pioneers and early residents of Indian Territory Tulsa for watering stock before crossing the river. A ferry replaced the ford at this point, serving travel between Tulsa and Red Fork until the advent of bridges. In 1832, Washington Irving stopped at this spring and was so impressed by its beauty that he wrote about it.

James H. McBirney and his brother formed the Bank of Commerce in Tulsa in 1904. He soon built two of Tulsa’s early skyscrapers: the 10-story McBirney office building and, adjacent to it, the first 8-story home for his bank. By 1918, he and two associates were developing the Childers Heights subdivision along the Arkansas River. Many of Tulsa’s first mansions were erected on the downtown’s perimeter by some of Tulsa’s early builders and developers. Ironically, McBirney’s home is one of the last still standing.

The McBirney House was individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1976 under Criterion B and C. Its NRIS number is 76001577.

6. RIVERSIDE STUDIO (1381 Riverside Drive) 1929

McBirney House This building, designed by architect Bruce Goff, is a two-story stucco building set on a sloping site facing the Arkansas River. The design of the building reflects an influence of both Art Deco and the International Style but with a more personalized interpretation. The underlying inspiration for the design is music, evoking a concept that architecture might be interpreted as “frozen music.” This theme is visualized in the treatment of the windows on the fašade of the building.

The building was designed for Mrs. Patti Adams Shriner, a music teacher who wanted to combine a music studio for teaching piano lessons with her living quarters. The rhythm of windows and inset tile forming diagonal patterns on the walls of the entrance hall drew their inspiration from musical scales. The round window on the front of the building derived its decorative pattern from musical scores that Goff composed while he was working on the design. Even the fountain designed by Alphonso Iannelli used abstract marble sculpture with pipes that dripped water over the sculpture onto chromimium cups. These were of varying size to create music-like tones as the water splashed into the pool below. The rigid cubism is reinforced by an enormous round window and other geometric shapes, creating a modernity of form. Today it is a theater hosting the dramatic performance of an old fashioned melodrama, “The Drunkard.”

The Riverside Studio was individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places on June 14, 2001 under Criteria C. Its NRIS number is 01000656.

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