Elizabeth Manor Listed on National Register
In the decade of the 1920’s, Tulsa’s population more than doubled, fueled by the booming oil industry. Housing needed for this growth surge resulted in the addition of a number of four to eight-unit small apartment buildings located throughout the city. Those in the most desirable areas were built with quality materials. Others were very utilitarian, built on the cheap. Typically, these buildings were symmetrical with a center hall plan and an equal number of units on both sides. The apartment sizes varied; most were either one or two bedrooms with corner units being the largest. In an era before air conditioning, ground floor covered porches and upper level covered balconies were considered to be special features. One apartment building has special design appeal, Elizabeth Manor at 1820 S. Boulder Avenue.
Elizabeth Manor nestles into a hillside with the result that its basement is below ground at the rear and partially above grade at the front. Six units on three levels overlooking what was originally a sloping lawn (now bisected by streets) to a large city park (Veterans Park).
Built in 1925 and designed by architect Arthur M. Atkinson, it received National Register of Historic Places designation in 2015. Design emphasis for Elizabeth Manor focuses on its front. Build of brick with limestone trim and accents, it has a late Gothic Revival look intended to simulate the collegiate Gothic style popular at the time. It would fit respectfully into many Gothic styled universities around the country. By 1929, it was estimated there were 333 similar apartment buildings in the city.
A divided lite oak main entrance door is centered in a small projecting vestibule element. The doorway is a tudor arch. It and the surrounding vestibule are faced with smooth faced limestone. The first floor is half a flight up from the vestibule; the basement is half a flight down to the basement. Above the doorway arch are intaglio letters spelling Elizabeth Manor. The single-story roof terminates with a crenulated parapet.
The rest of the building is faced in dark red brick with horizontal limestone bands beginning with a distinctive limestone water table trim. Corners are emphasized with limestone quoins. Window sills at the front are limestone, but are replaced with brick at the rear. The main roof is flat with a very simple parapet. Above the main entrance the center element becomes limestone with right and left matching parapet scrolls.
But what really is distinctive about the front are the half octagon room elements which project from the building on either side of the entry vestibule. These begin at grade and continue to the top of the building. They are highlighted with a series of tall casement steel windows four lights high with a two light transom fixed glass section above each. Inset limestone blocks further accent the octagon corners. The remaining windows at the main building sides and rear are double hung, divided light.
At the rear of the property, there is evidence that a tenant garage structure originally existed. Now only a single car garage is still standing, though it is in rough shape. However, the apartment building itself appears to be in good condition.