History of Bartlesville & Washington County, Oklahoma

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Bartlesville City Attractions & Festivals 

City Attractions

Visit the websites for Bartlesville tourism or the Chamber of Commerce for more information.


View Bartlesville Attractions in a larger map

 

  • Price TowerPrice Tower
    Built for the Price pipeline construction company in 1956, this is the only Frank Lloyd Wright skyscraper ever built. Wright called it "the tree that escaped the forest" referring to the 19-story building's unique tree-like design, with the floors cantilevered off a central shaft. The building had both apartments and office space and a tree growing in a rooftop eating area. The famous architect Bruce Goff lived in the tower for a period. The bottom floor of the tower houses the Art Center featuring changing exhibits, and part of the tower is the Inn at Price Tower, a 21-room high design hotel. Perched near the top of the tower, with great views, is the Copper Bar. Additional information and pictures are available from the official website and the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Guide.

  • History MuseumBartlesville Area History Museum
    On the fifth floor of downtown's City Hall at 4th & Johnstone you will find 10,000 square feet of space devoted to the history of our area. You'll be greeted by an animatronic recreation of local photographer Frank Griggs at the entrance to the permanent exhibit area. The museum has thousands of Griggs' photographs, capturing a half-century of growth and community development. In addition to the various artifacts and informative displays in the permanent exhibit there is also a changing exhibits gallery, a museum store, a one-room schoolhouse, and collection storage and administrative areas. The museum's collection includes thousands of artifacts and documents that tell the story of Bartlesville and surrounding areas, ranging from bricks engraved with "Bartlesville, I.T." that paved the roads of the early community to a piece of casing from the Nellie Johnstone No. 1. For more information, visit the official website.

  • Phillips MuseumPhillips Petroleum Museum
    Learn about the history of Phillips Petroleum Company, which grew up in Bartlesville from 1917 until the Fortune 500 company merged with Conoco in 2002. At one time the company employed 9,000 people in Bartlesville and still employs thousands of Bartians for its accounting, information technology, human resources, and finance operations. Additional information available from the official website.

  • Phillips HomeFrank Phillips Home
    The 26-room Greek Revival home of Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum Company, is located at 1107 S. Cherokee. The home was built in 1908 and designed by Walter Everman. It now appears as it did after a $500,000 remodeling job in the 1930s by Edward Buehler Delk, who also designed Bartlesville's La Quinta, the original 1926 Hillcrest Country Club (replaced in 1962), and Kane residence as well as the Plaza in Kansas City and Philbrook in Tulsa. The Greek Revival exterior consists of mottled gray-brick walls, a tile roof, spacious porches, tall white columns, and dormer windows. The interior contains silk damask walls, plate-glass panel ceilings, and gold bathroom fixtures. Visit the Phillips Home website for more information.

  • Community CenterBartlesville Community Center
    Home to the 50-year-old Bartlesville Symphony, this facility was designed by William Wesley Peters, chief architect of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, this facility accommodates over 200 community events each year, with a 1,700 seat auditorium renowned for its acoustics. The interior holds the world's largest cloisonne enamel art work, a 25 foot mural showing a stylized Oklahoma countryscape. Call (918) 337-2787 for tour information or visit the official website.

  • PathfinderPathfinder Parkway
    This 11-mile system of paved trails links the city's four major parks - Johnstone, Sooner, Jo Allyn Lowe, and Robinwood - as it runs along the banks of the Caney River and Turkey Creek. There are eight different entrances where you can park and set off on a leisurely bike ride, stroll, or run through the woods. Tunnels dive under the city's major roadways to keep you safely out of the traffic, all part of the Parkway's planning which dates back to its origins as a Bicentennial Project. Don't miss the arched suspension bridge over the Caney River in the Bird Trail portion of the Parkway. Here's a closer look at the Pathfinder.

  • Kiddie ParkJohnstone & Discovery 1 Parks
    North of downtown on Cherokee Avenue, Johnstone Park has a number of historical attractions and features the Kiddie Park where on summer evenings kids enjoy a variety of 25¢ rides and adults can join them on the train ride. Nearby is the tiny restored 1923 Hulah Santa Fe depot, which was relocated when its original site in Osage County was inundated by Hulah Lake. One of the park's picnic shelters is directly across the Caney River from the old Carr-Bartles mill site. You can follow the Pathfinder Parkway foot/bicycle trail east out of the park along the Caney River. Along that route directly under the state highway 123 bridge is the natural dam once used as a ford between Northside and Southside. The Pathfinder Parkway connects the major city parks with miles of trails through the Caney River floodplain and along Turkey Creek.

    Nellie Johnstone No. 1Adjacent to Johnstone Park is Discovery 1 Park, built in 2008 on the site of the first commercial oil well in Oklahoma, the Nellie Johnstone No. 1 of the Cudahy Oil Company, which produced over 100,000 barrels of oil between 1897 and 1948. The park features a recreation of the Nellie Johnstone derrick, with a simulated gusher and vistor center with informational displays and artifacts.

  • DepotSanta Fe Depot
    The Santa Fe railroad depot was built in 1909 and is now the home of the local chamber of commerce.

    Engine 940Outside the depot Santa Fe Engine No. 940, built in 1903, is on display. The 300,000 pound steam locomotive was built by the Baldwin locomotive works for the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, was retired in 1954, and is the sole survivor of 342 steam engines of its type built for the Santa Fe.

  • La QuintaLa Quinta Mansion
    This mansion was built in the 1930s for H.V. Foster, who was the richest man west of the Mississippi at the time because of his control of oil leases in the Osage Hills. He founded the company that became Cities Service. The 32-room Spanish-style mansion at 2201 Silverlake Road has terra-cotta tiled floors, wrought iron balconies, stuccoed walls, hand-painted ceilings, seven fireplaces, and a tower. It is now the administration building for Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

City Festivals

  • HEART OF TOWN STREET PARTY (May, July)
    On a couple of Friday evenings in May and July, downtown Bartlesville has a block party with live music, food and drink, and a kid play area. www.facebook.com/hotstreetparty
  • SUNFEST - Family Fun (June)
    Every year on the weekend after Memorial Day, this three-day event brings art, entertainment, youth activities, storytellers, and food to town. Check it out at www.bartlesvillesunfest.org
  • OK MOZART - Classical Music Festival (June)
    This major cultural event takes place each year for nine days in mid-June and features orchestral and chamber concerts with the Solisti New York Orchestra conducted by Ransom Wilson. The festival's showcase events feature: architectural, historical, and home tours; equestrian events; workshops; nature tours; lectures; and performances. See details at www.okmozart.com
  • KIDSFEST - Fun for Kids at Woolaroc (June)
    This two-day event offers entertainment, art, nature exhibits, and an introduction to ranch life. Visit www.woolaroc.org for more info.
  • INDIAN SUMMER - Native American Festival (September)
    Each fall the Delaware, Osage, Cherokee, and other regional tribes hold a three-day festival at the Bartlesville Community Center that features outstanding artisans from throughout the southwest. There are also craft demonstrations, children's art activities, Indian fashion, and a pow-wow. Get more info at www.okindiansummer.org
  • FANTASY LAND OF LIGHTS - Christmas Decorations (December)
    See thousands of lights forming holiday season displays throughout Johnstone Park from Thanksgiving through New Year's. See more at www.fantasylandoflights.com