Mayo Hotel

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Mayo Hotel
Mayo Hotel Tulsa.jpg
The Mayo Hotel
Location Tulsa, OK
Coordinates 36°9′3.2″N 95°59′31.16″W / 36.150889°N 95.9919889°W / 36.150889; -95.9919889Coordinates: 36°9′3.2″N 95°59′31.16″W / 36.150889°N 95.9919889°W / 36.150889; -95.9919889
Built 1925
Architect George Winkler
Architectural style Chicago School Style
NRHP Reference # 80003303 [1]
Added to NRHP June 27, 1980

The Mayo Hotel is a historic building located in downtown Tulsa in Oklahoma, US, at 115 West 5th Street. This Chicago School (Sullivanesque) building was built in 1925. It was designed by the architect George Winkler and financed by John D. and Cass A. Mayo.[2] The base of two-story Doric columns supports fourteen floors marked with false terracotta balconies, and a two-story crown of stone and a dentiled cornice[3] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It was listed under National Register Criterion C, and its NRIS number is 80003303.

Once the tallest building in Oklahoma, the hotel originally had 600 rooms. Ceiling fans in each room and Tulsa's first running ice water made the hotel a haven from summer heat.

An original luggage sticker from the Mayo Hotel- ca. 1930's

It hosted many of Tulsa's most notable 20th-century visitors, including President John F. Kennedy, Bob Hope, Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth, Charlie Chaplin and Mae West. The Mayo Hotel was also the residence of some notable oilmen of the era, including J. Paul Getty.[4] In William Inge's 1953 Pulitzer Prize winning play, Picnic, the Mayo Hotel is where the lead character Hal intends to find work as a bellhop.[5]


Built in 1925, the building was designed by the architect George Winkler and financed by John D. and Cass A. Mayo.[2]

A failed renovation attempt in the early 1980s left the building unoccupied and missing many of its original fixtures and interior ornamentation. Abandoned for 20 years, the Mayo seemed destined for demolition until June 2001, when the Snyder family purchased it for $250,000 and began renovation. Initial efforts focused on restoring the lower floors, which became a popular venue for galas, proms, receptions and meetings. An $11.2 million project to convert seven upper floors into 70 loft apartments began in 2008.[citation needed] $4.9 million in public funds were allocated to the project from the Tulsa County development package known as "Vision 2025"[6] approved by voters in 2003. The hotel owners provided an additional $6.3 million.[citation needed] The total cost of the building renovation has been reported to be $40 million.[2][6]

Interior, Mayo Hotel

As part of this renovation project, the Mayo also became the first Oklahoma building to complete environmental remediation under a new brownfields program sponsored by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.[7]

Apartment tenants began moving into the restored building in late August 2009,[8] and the hotel reopened for business in September,[9] with a formal grand reopening in December.[10] The Mayo Hotel privately opened early for its first guest, Britney Spears, who booked 80 rooms for her tour stop in Tulsa on September 15, 2009. Since then, the hotel has hosted numerous guests such as OneRepublic, Lady Gaga, Bob Seger and Josh Groban.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Robert Evatt, "A milestone for the Mayo", Tulsa World, August 6, 2009.
  3. ^ Mayo Hotel Archived 2009-10-25 at the Wayback Machine. at Tulsa Preservation Commission website (retrieved October 29, 2009).
  4. ^ The Mayo Hotel and Residences at National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotels of America website (retrieved October 29, 2009).
  5. ^ Thomas L. Erskine, James Michael Welsh, John C. Tibbetts, Video Versions: Film Adaptations of Plays on Video (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000), ISBN 978-0-313-30185-8, p. 272 (excerpt available at Google Books).
  6. ^ a b Kirby Lee Davis, "Tulsa's Mayo Hotel renovation scores $23.5M from IBC Bank", The Journal Record, July 1, 2008.
  7. ^ "Mayo Hotel gets environmental cleanup"[permanent dead link], AP in Muskogee Phoenix, May 8, 2009.
  8. ^ Robert Evatt, "Mayo Hotel preparing for September opening", Tulsa World, August 5, 2009.
  9. ^ Michael Overall, "Downtown's historic Mayo Hotel open again", Tulsa World, September 16, 2009.
  10. ^ Kim Brown, "The Mayo returns to early magnificence", Tulsa World, November 7, 2009.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Cosden Building
Tallest Building in Tulsa
Succeeded by
Philtower Building