|Location||Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States|
|Affiliated university||Oral Roberts University|
|Lists||Hospitals in Oklahoma|
CityPlex Towers is a complex of three high-rise office towers located at 81st Street and Lewis Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The complex was originally constructed by Oral Roberts University as City of Faith Medical and Research Center and meant to be a major charismatic Christian hospital. The complex is now mostly office space.
Oral Roberts sojourned to California in 1977 after the death of his daughter and son-in-law, who were killed along with five other passengers in a small airplane crash. During the pilgrimage, Roberts had a religious vision that directed him to construct the City of Faith Medical and Research Center. The facility was conceived to serve as a nationally renowned healing and research and teaching facility for the medical faculty of the adjacent Oral Roberts University. The hospital was intended to combine the healing disciplines of modern medical science and faith healing where volunteer prayer partners would comfort the patients with prayers for healing. A gigantic bronze sculpture entitled "Praying Hands", representing the hands of science and faith clasped together in prayer, was erected at the entrance of the hospital.
Early struggles, funding and visions of Jesus
Roberts encountered many obstacles during the construction of the City of Faith hospital which was constructed between 1979 and 1981, such as opposition by the Oklahoma health authorities who did not agree that the project was needed. They said that resources would be wasted as overhead increased caused by an abundance of empty beds, and that the hospital would divert medical staff leading to a shortage. Oklahoma City attorney Earl Sneed opposed the hospital as the facility offered a redundant service and skepticism with the discipline of faith healing.
Roberts struggled to find financial support during the early stages of planning. Roberts said that God gave him detailed instructions to realize the completion of City of Faith, and to reassure his partners of the completion of the hospital.
According to a fundraising letter, on May 25, 1980 Roberts prayed for guidance in front of the unfinished hospital. Roberts envisioned a 900-foot Jesus encouraged him to continue the project.Jesus said according to Roberts 'I told you I would speak to your 'partners', and through them I will build it'. Roberts described the vision: "when I opened my eyes, there He stood... some 900 feet tall, looking at me; His eyes.... Oh! His eyes! He stood a full 300 feet taller than the 600 foot tall City of Faith. However his opponents were skeptical and suggested that Roberts imagined the vision.
He raised the funds by appealing to his partners, by revealing inspiration from God instructing them how to finance the project. In a fundraising letter, Roberts instructed that if they pledge funds in multiples of $7, $77, $777 then God would bless them abundantly.
The hospital accepted its first patient in November 1981. By 1986 the City of Faith was losing over $10 million per year. In 1987, with costs spiraling out of control, the medical center went largely vacant. Roberts told a television audience unless he raised $8 million by March, God would "call him home" (a euphemism for death). The donations goal was reached but Roberts soon began looking for buyers or people to manage the facility. In 1989, only eight years after it opened, the City of Faith was $25 million in debt and Roberts closed the hospital. The last patient left on 16 October. Most of the complex was converted to office space and leased out as CityPlex Towers.
Structure and use
There are three triangular towers with over 2,200,000 square feet (200,000 m2) of office space. The tallest is the 60-story CityPlex Tower which at 648 feet (198 m) is the third tallest building in Oklahoma (after Devon Tower and BOK Tower). The 60th floor features a dining room with a panoramic view of the Arkansas River and Tulsa. The main CityPlex tower is flanked by 30-story CityPlex West Tower and 20-story CityPlex East Tower, which are 348 feet (106 m) and 248 ft (76 m) high. Cityplex West is wholly vacant above the ninth floor, with many floors still unfinished since the time of construction. Below the fifth floor all three towers are joined within a structure called the base building. The spacious complex includes three auditoriums with theatre-style seating, a fitness center, cafeteria, food court, convenience store and catering services.
Two towers are non-medical. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America was in CityPlex West until April 2005 when they built their own facility. Oklahoma Surgical Hospital, an orthopedic specialty hospital, operates on the lower floors of CityPlex West and the base building. Christian radio station KXOJ has studios and offices there with transmitting equipment at the top of the 60-story tower. The leasing agent claims the complex is now a major site for call centers. The facility was 50% occupied in May 2007.
During the 1990s, CityPlex was the home of Commercial Financial Services, a large debt collection agency founded by Bill Bartmann, which at one point had almost four thousand employees, but then filed a high-profile bankruptcy in 1998. In November 2010, it was reported that Bartmann would return to CityPlex with his new debt collection company, CFS II, taking a lease for two floors in the 20-story tower.
A large bronze sculpture called Praying Hands sat directly in front of the lobby with a series of fountains and streams headed towards the street until the summer of 1991 when it was moved to the nearby campus entrance of Oral Roberts University.
- Kan, Anthony. "Crash killing Oral Robert's Daughter probed". February 15, 1977. The Free Lance-Star.(page.11). Retrieved November 21, 2013
- "Ideas and Trends: Oral Roberts's Word on Cancer", New York Times Jan 30, 1983
- "Oral Roberts' Ministry Hits a 'Low Spot'," Dallas Morning News Jan 5, 1986
- UPI. "Four years of donations built $120M hospital of faith". October 19, 1981. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- Blair, Dayton. "Roberts' city of faith set to open". October 30, 1981. Associated Press. Lawrence Journal-World Vol 123, No.303, page 12, retrieved December 23, 2013
- Associated Press. "Oral Roberts' Project Oppressed". April 28, 1978. Ocala Star-Banner, page-4b, retrieved December 23, 2013
- Estus, John; Thorton, Tony. 'How City of Faith led to fall", News OK, December 2, 2007, Retrieved December 23, 2013
- UPI. "Oral Roberts:'I saw a 900 foot Jesus Image". Friday October 17, 1980, St. Petersburg Times, p.3a retrieved December 23, 2013
- Ostling, Richard (1972-02-07). "Raising Eyebrows and the Dead". Time. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
- Randi, James (1989). "The Faith Healers". Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-369-2 and ISBN 0-87975-535-0. pages 186
- "Tulsans have seen upheaval before but are concerned how it affects students.". Tulsa World. 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2007-11-04.
- CityPlex website
- http://www.cityplextowers.com/tour-callcenters.htm retrieved 08 October 2007
- NewsOK.com, John Estus and Tony Thornton, How City of Faith Led to Fall, 24 Sep 2012
- "Bill Bartmann to return to CityPlex Towers", Tulsa World, 24 Sep 2012.
- Tulsa World  retrieved 09 December 2009