The Italian style villa was designed by Tulsa architect, Noble B. Flemming in 1920 for $100,000. It has 21 rooms and 10 bathrooms. It was built by David R. Travis (originally known as David Rabinowitz) an immigrant originally from Czarist Russia. The ballroom in the lower level was the location of the first Jewish services during the Travis residence since there was no synagogue or temple in Tulsa.
The owner lived in the home for only three years before a reversal of fortune forced him to sell. In 1923 J. Harthur Hull purchased the home and built the Lord Burnham greenhouse and sunken garden. During the Depression the house and 10 acres was offered for sale for $25,000 with no buyer coming forward for several years.
The Snedden family finally purchased the mansion and property in 1934 and lived there until 1950, when oil man W.G. Skelly purchased the home. Mr. Skelly sold it in 1954 for $85,000 including 10 acres to the City of Tulsa. Since then, the Tulsa Garden Center has operated the city-owned facility providing educational resources and meeting places for horticultural and environmental organizations.