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Photo: The Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society.

The Mayo Hotel

When The Mayo Hotel was built in 1925 it featured 600 rooms and was the tallest building in Tulsa. Each room had a ceiling fan and Tulsa’s first running ice water, making it the best place to stay during hot summer months. The hotel’s founders, Cass A. and John D. Mayo, were real-estate pioneers in Tulsa, and The Mayo Hotel was their most ambitious and elegant contribution to the city's development. The Mayo was the residence of many oil barons during the Second Oil Boom, and has subsequently accommodated prominent politicians and entertainers.

The hotel was designed by architect George Winkler, who also built the 320 South Boston Building, in the Sullivanesque style of the Chicago School. Fourteen floors of red brick with false terracotta balconies are supported by two-stories of Doric columns, and the building is capped by two more stories of stone with a dentiled cornice. 

At night, the Mayo’s iconic red neon sign can be seen from the downtown area. The hotel was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1980, though it closed its doors in 1981 and fell into disrepair. After a $42 million dollar renovation, it was in 2009 when the Mayo reopened its doors to the public.

Presently, the Mayo offers a restaurant, coffee shop, contemporary rooms and the Penthouse Rooftop Lounge. From its lobby to the Crystal Ballroom, the hotel continues to accommodate parties and weddings—just as the hotel was known for in its glory days.