Elks Lodge Building
Built in 1906, the old Elks Lodge Building was initially supposed to be twelve stories tall, but financial difficulties forced the Elks to stop at five. It is now the location of the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company.
Backstory and Context
The Elks sold the building to General William S. Key, who served in World War I as a colonel and became General of the Oklahoma National Guard. Back home, he became a successful businessman, investing in the oil industry. He bought the building to house his business offices and invest some of his money. His offices were located on the first floor; he rented the other levels. One of these tenants was the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company.
The company played a key role in the city's growth during the early 20th century. It built the first natural gas pipeline to the city in 1906 and the gas started to flow on December 28, 1907. The advantages of natural gas—it was cheap, clean-burning, and efficient—attracted businesses to the city. As a result, economic activity increased. The company purchased the building in 1947. The company is now a division of ONE Gas.
Blackburn, Bob L. "Elks Lodge Building." National Parks Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. March 10, 1980. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/80003284_text.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons