Union Depot (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

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Coordinates: 36°09′20″N 95°59′26″W / 36.155523°N 95.990652°W / 36.155523; -95.990652

Tulsa Union Depot
Tulsa union Depot Modern pict 2009.jpg
Tulsa Union Depot, 2009
Station statistics
Address 111 East 1st St, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Other information
Opened May 13, 1931
Closed May 13, 1967
Station status School and Museum

The Tulsa Union Depot (also known as the Tulsa Union Station) is a former railway station located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was formerly a hub for railway activity in Tulsa, but has since been turned into an office building. The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is headquartered in the former Depot.[1][2]


The Depot was built in 1931 by the Public Works Administration and was considered "the single best PWA symbol of hope for economic recovery during the bleak days of the depression."[3] The Depot was the first central station in the city of Tulsa, and it unified the small Frisco, Katy, and Santa Fe depots. Upon its completion, a crowd of over 60,000 people came to see the opening ceremonies, which included speeches, singing, dancing, and Indian stomp dancing. The event was even broadcast on radio. A new locomotive was unveiled, and the locomotive said to have brought the first passenger train into the city (Frisco's "Old 94") was showcased.[1] The depot opened "Tulsa's important front door." At its peak, the depot served 36 trains a day.[3]

Tulsa Union Depot interior, under renovation

Because of declining passenger train travel and the rise of air travel and the Interstate Highway system, the depot was abandoned after hosting its last passenger train in 1967.[1] In 1980, Urban Design Group and Manhattan Construction (the same company that built the depot in 1931) purchased the depot and, in 1983 after restoring the depot, made it their headquarters and office.[3]

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame moved to the site in 2007.[4] An agreement is being finalized to give control of the Depot from the Tulsa County Industrial Authority to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of fame as part of the city's Vision 2025 program.[5]


The Depot was built in an Art-Deco style by architect R.C. Stephens of St. Louis, MO. The Manhattan Construction Company served as the general contractor. The Art-Deco Style with machine styled elements was very popular, even a "something of a mania" in Tulsa.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c Curtis, Gene (May 2, 2007). "Only in Oklahoma: By any name, Tulsa's rail facility was a jewel". Tulsa World. 
  2. ^ a b "Tulsa Union Depot". Tulsa Preservation Commission. Retrieved June 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Wallis, Michael (2007). Way Down Yonder in the Indian Nation: Writings from America's Heartland. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 133–134. ISBN 978-0-8061-3824-4. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ Shepherd, Ginger (November 3, 2006). "Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame to transform old train station in Tulsa". The Journal Record. 
  5. ^ Canfield, Kevin (May 30, 2010). "Deal near for jazz nonprofit to run depot". Tulsa World. 

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