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Beacon bf

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

Beacon Building

The red-brick building with its ornate and art deco moldings was built in 1923 and got its name when it housed the Beacon Insurance Co. The building was originally owned by an investment group that included James M. Gillette, Carl W. Gillette, Patrick M. Kerr and Elliott L. Mills. A flashing 65-foot lighthouse originally topped the northeast corner of the building. The beacon was diffused in the 1950s when air conditioning was installed and the building's electrical system couldn't handle both features. The spire was removed during the 1970s.

In its earlier days, the building went through a series of owners (including Waite Phillips) and name changes. It was renamed in 1927 as the Security National Bank Building and renamed the Tulsa Trust Building the following year. The Beacon name has stuck since 1929, even though Beacon Life Insurance moved after being the building was purchased by Atlas Life Insurance Co. In 1986, First National Bank and Trust Co. of Tulsa took title to the property.