The City of Bartlesville is raising funds to restore the Bruce Goff-designed Sooner Park Play Tower. The goal is to complete the renovation in time for the tower’s 50th anniversary this summer.
Restoring this beloved local landmark, is of deep personal interest to my family as it was built by Scott and Hill, a steel fabrication company owned by my grandfather, Calvin Hill.
American architect, Bruce Goff, who is known for his eclectic, modern architectural creations, was commissioned by the Harold C. Price family to design the play tower in 1963 as a gift to the children of Bartlesville. It is a truly unique work of art that, once renovated, will once again be opened to the public to climb to the observation deck at the top.The space age inspiration for its design came from the geometric principals of line, sphere, cylinder, spiral and Mobius strip, with these elements clearly evidenced in its structure.
"Reaching 50 feet at the tip of its spire, the tower is a spiraling staircase with a metallic mesh sphere at the top. It was positioned off-center and tethered to the ground outside the perimeter of the concrete barrier with 12 cables, each of which were adorned with metal beads in the same color scheme as the tower — the colors of red, yellow and green.
The 6-foot-high Mobius strip consisted of continuous steel fencing with welded rods atop 12 piers and was intended as a climbing and crawling feature. When traversing, children could crawl continuously around the strip for 360 degrees without crossing any boundaries."
The tower was closed in the early 1990's due to deterioration and after an act of vandalism in 2008, the city of Bartlesville decided to attempt to restore this beloved landmark rather than destroy it.
This is where your help is crucial. This project would provide a historic place for the children of Bartlesville to play and help preserve a cherished architectural icon.
The total cost of the full renovation is $143,000. The City of Bartlesville has earmarked $65,000 for the project. Local petroleum company, Phillips 66, has donated 50,000, leaving $28,000 left to be raised.
I have set my personal fundraising goal at $10,000, but would love to raise more to help with this effort. All the funds raised, regardless of whether I reach my goal, will go to the City of Bartlesville to assist in the renovation project.In addition to contributing financially, helping to spread the word of this effort would also be appreciated. Please let your friends and family know what we are trying to achieve. Post on your Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Send a Tweet. There are numerous, easy ways you can help spread the word. Whether a native Bartian or an architecture aficionado, all contributions monetary or word-of-mouth are welcome!