Original Cities Service Building Houses Practicality

STATELY LANDMARK: The Robinson Park Building stands at 28 stories with a geometric façade that is achieved by a waffle-like grid of deeply recessed glass openings.

There is nothing remarkable about the building in this month’s article except its pleasing proportions and subtlety. Perhaps that was the original architect’s intent. Its site encompasses a full city block at 110 West 7th Street, which includes an office tower and a three-level parking garage. The tower sits back from its corners at Boulder and Cheyenne Avenues and 7th Street creating a raised, open entry plaza, which further enhances the building.
The building consists of five column bays in the east and west directions and nine bays in the north and south. It rises to 28 stories in height. The ground floor is full two stories with freestanding columns sheathed in white marble, fronting recessed dark gray glass storefront walls. The remainder of the building is faced in a marble masonry material.

WELCOMING ENTRANCEWAY: The entranceway what to what is known today as the Robinson Park Building is inviting to the many employees and visitors to the facility.

A geometric façade is achieved by a waffle like grid of deeply recessed glass openings. These are close to square in size with a horizontal pattern of two squares for each equal column bay. The pattern continues vertically until the top floor (probably the executive office level) is reached. There, the height of the glass opening increases 150 percent creating tall rectangles of the same width as the openings below. There is no noticeable cap highlighting this tower, only a subdued parapet that is flush with the geometric grid.
Although this building’s look is not particularly original (there are projects in other cities that are similar) it is very easy on the eye. At almost 45 years old, it represents an almost timeless design.
Worthy of note is the history of this building which today is named Robinson Park. In 1971, the second largest oil company in Bartlesville, Cities Service Oil Co., decided to move to Tulsa. As part of the move a new headquarters building was needed and in 1974 the building was built for $15 million.
Cities had virtually outgrown the building and was building a new larger office tower (reviewed in an earlier article) in 1982 when the company was acquired by Occidental Petroleum. At this time the building was renamed Occidental Place. In 1998, Occidental Place was purchased by Prescott realty for $28.55 million. Eventually the current owners, Square Deal Capital, purchased the building for $35.6 million. Today the property is managed and owned by Robinson Park Property Managers, which is an offshoot from the commercial brokerage firm of Newmark Grubb Levy Strange Beffort. The fact that the value of this building has continued to increase to over twice its original construction cost is an indication among other things, of the quality of its architecture.
Current tenants include Airgas, Hillcrest Medical Center and Chase Bank.