Palace Building Offers Interesting History

GTR Media Group photo
EARLY LANDMARK: The Palace Building is located at 324 S. Main St. in Tulsa.

At 324 S. Main St. is an unobtrusive nine-story building completed in 1917. It’s skin (exterior walls) are masonry, today painted pale grey.

Among its few details are art deco barelief geometric ornaments at the 8th floor corners at Main and at 4th Street. Additional detail is provided by bands of horizontal masonry at the parapet and below the 9th floor. The ornament and projecting masonry bands are highlighted by the use of bright blue-green and orange paint. Above the tall first floor, two large projecting masonry bands frame what was originally large horizontal signage announcing “Palace Clothiers.” Below this signage and below clearstory first floor windows was a continuous marquee awning along both street exposures. Today only the Main Street elevation includes this marquee.

The Palace Building has been repurposed as a 60-unit apartment structure with a ground floor restaurant and seems to be succeeding in this purpose. When first built, the lowest two floors were occupied by the clothing store. The upper floor offices were leased to oil men. At one time Harry Sinclair and Josh Cosden both had office suites there before they built their own impressive headquarter buildings.

In 1913, Simon Jankowsky, a Russian immigrant, began building the Palace. His pervious store at First and Main Streets had grown too small in only four years from its 1904 beginning.

As is common with many downtown Tulsa buildings of the period, Jankowsky soon added four additional floors to reach its nine-story height utilizing the same steel and concrete structure and masonry exterior.

The Jankowsky family owned Palace Clothiers for 56 years then Robinsons Clothing for an additional three years. When the Jankowsky’s finally sold out in 1968, family-owned clothing stores had reached the end of an era in Tulsa. The building was transferred to various owners until its current successful usage.