Tulsa Fire Alarm Building
The Tulsa Fire Alarm Building is one of Tulsa's unique landmarks. It was built in 1931 and served as the location where all fire alarms were reported, allowing dispatchers to more quickly notify the fire station closest to a fire. This fire alarm system, which was called Gamewell, was the best available at the time in the Midwest. The building is also significant for its Art Deco architecture. Designed by Frederick V. Kershner, the building is known for its terra cotta detailing and Mayan motifs including the double-headed dragon, which in Mayan cultures symbolizes the power of the earth and calamities (it is possible that the building's architect, Frederick Kershner, was inspired to incorporate the dragon symbol after the discoveries of Mayan sites in the early 20th century). The building is now a fire fighting museum.
Backstory and Context
"Fire Alarm Building." Tulsa Preservation Commission. Accessed August 8, 2019. http://tulsapreservationcommission.org/buildings/fire-alarm-building.
Markes, Elizabeth. "Tulsa Fire Alarm Building." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. September 2, 2003. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/84ccb4b6-7644-4601-ab52-3a68fb0dd05d.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons