Alternative Names: Southwestern Bell Building
Address: 509 South Detroit Avenue
Height: 143.50 feet
Until surpassed by Devon Tower in 2011, the BOK Tower was the tallest building in any of the five “Plains States”: Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well as the surrounding states of Missouri, Arkansas and New Mexico. The BOK Tower was designed by Minoru Yamasaki & Associates, the same architect who designed the World Trade Center in New York City. The BOK Tower is very similar to the World Trade Center towers in appearance and construction. BOK Tower’s lobby has marble walls and wall hangings which have a noted similarity to the decor in the former World Trade Center. The similarities between the BOK Tower and the World Trade Center Towers are based upon the BOK tower’s history. The tower was built for the Williams Companies; at the time of its construction, the CEO of Williams (John Williams) was impressed by the Twin Towers in New York. His original idea was to build four small-scale replicas of the towers in Tulsa. However, prior to the actual construction, he was informed of the inefficiencies that would be created from having 25-story towers on the small footprints he had in mind with the required elevators. The plan for a quarter scale replica was then changed to a single tower a quarter the footprint of a trade center tower but double the height of the four planned towers.