Wright’s Price Tower was his pioneering experiment in the multi-use skyscraper: a slim, tall, richly detailed structure, originally designed to combine business offices, shops and apartments. The non-profit Price Tower Arts Center returns to this premise, inviting the public to explore its exhibition galleries, stay in its high-design hotel rooms and dine in its dramatically cantilevered restaurant.
The Tower's History
"The tree that escaped the crowded forest."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright built the Price Tower in Bertlesville, Oklahoma, at the request of Harold C. Price, founder of H.C.Price Company. Completed in 1956, the nineteen-story building was based on a design originally conceived for St.Mark's-in-the-Bowery in New York City, moving Wright to call this skyscraper "the tree that escaped the crowded forest." Lavish in its materials and detailing, the Price Tower is Wright's tallest built project, and takes its place with the celebrated S.C.Johnson Research Tower as one of his two vertical structures. The 221-foot-tall Price Tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1974) and as one of the American Institute of Architects' seventeen most significant examples of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture (1960). It also received the AlA's Twenty-Five Year Award in 1983.
Price Tower Arts Center was founded in 1985, shortly after Phillips Petroleum Company, now Conoco Phillips, acquired the historic skyscraper. After Phillips Petroleum vacated the building, the museum continued to operate as the sole tenant in an otherwise abandoned landmark. In 1998, the trustees of the Arts Center committed themselves to launch a capital compaign to acquire, rehabilitate and revitalize this signal masterwork. Phillips Petroleum gave its generous assistance by refurbishing the Price Tower and then donating it to the Arts Center in 2001.
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