Sunday, February 2, 2014

'Blair Mansion' DEMOLITION


The historic 'Blair Mansion' in Tulsa, Oklahoma, long a Tulsan symbol of
history, a mere days before it's demolition to make way for a $200 million
park plan. 

On February 1, 2014, Tulsa's historic 'Blair Mansion' 

facing Riverside, overlooking the Arkansas River, 

was demolished after attempts to move the 

residence to make way for a park. Demolition begun 

at 8:00 a.m. and was completed by 10:00 a.m. With 

it, went a piece of sacred Tulsa history.



Constructed in 1952 for Tulsa millionaire, B. B. Blair, 

one of the largest investors in Canal Refining Co. 


and Western Supply Co., and his wife Priscilla Blair 


on their dream lot, 33.2 acres overlooking the 


Arkansas River on historic Riverside Drive, a plot 


that the Blair's cozily called their little 'farm'. The 


Blair's commissioned local architect John Duncan 


Forsyth to design their southern plantation-style 


home, inspired by 'Beauvoir', the Mississippi home 


of John Davis, President of the Confederacy during 


the Civil War. With two stories, expansive gardens 


and wide veranda, the home for many years 


functioned as a full working farm, complete with a 


large vegetable garden, fruit trees, and a manager's 


cottage. Many can recall driving by the mansion in 


50's and 60's and smelling the aroma of Blair's 


freshly mown alfalfa. 




Blair died in 1980, after which it was inherited by 


Priscilla Blair, who was a member of the Tulsa 


Garden Club and also a charter member of the 


Philbrook Art Museum. The home was passed onto 


the Blair's only son, John Blair, a longtime resident 


of Swan Lake, Montana, upon Priscilla's death in 


1995. John Blair promptly sold the residence. In 


2012, Dan Buford, a nursing-home builder and 


twenty-year resident of the Blair Mansion, sold the 


property to the George Kaiser Foundation, with the 


intention the Buford would be given a year to try 


and relocate the home. After consulting numerous 


architects, the plan was to have the home split into 


three halves and moved to a separate location. This 


would prove to be nearly impossible and extremely 


costly. After a year, Buford gave up. It wasn't till the 


day of the demolition, February 1, that I realized the 


home was being demolished. 



It was 7:15 a.m., and the crews had already arrived 


at the site, to meet 


the 8:00 deadline. I was still bewildered why the 


home was being demolished. "To make way for a 


Tulsa Parks Gathering Space" the papers said. But 


why did the home need to be demolished? Couldn't 


this "gathering space" be built somewhere on the 


other 33 acres of the property? Or why couldn't the 


home itself be used? The lavish interiors would be a 


perfect fit for weddings, receptions and other such 


events. Why did the home have to be demolished? 


That question will forever ring in my mind "Why did 


it have to go.. why... why was The 'Blair Mansion' 


demolished??"



The 'Blair Mansion' will forever remain in the hearts of 


Tulsans as a symbol of history, elegance and stately-hood.



To read more about this magnificent piece of history, please 


visit my FaceBook page about the property, "The Legacy of 


The 'Blair Mansion'", and give us a like. Click HERE to do so. 




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