Price Tower: “The tree that escaped the crowded forest”


Bartlesville, One of Oklahoma’s Architectural Treasures

What is architecture anyway? Is it the vast collection of the various buildings which have been built to please the varying tastes of the various lords of mankind? I think not. No, I know that architecture is life; or at least it is life itself taking form and therefore it is the truest record of life as it was lived in the world yesterday, as it is lived today or ever will be lived…So, architecture I know to be a Great Spirit. 

— Frank Lloyd Wright

Today I want to share with you a prized piece of architecture I had the good fortune of being able to view. While I am a fan of good fantasy writing and fantasy era towers, I enjoy many different forms of art and architecture may be the ultimate art. Especially when the architect is one of the most famous architects of all time. So take a moment if you would and check out this priceless piece of art that stands tall on the praries of northeastern Oklahoma.


Near the heart of Bartlesville, Oklahoma sits this copper banded tower 221 feet tall and 19 floors. Price Tower as it is called is one of only two vertically oriented buildings and the ONLY realized sky scraper in the world conceived by the world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It was built by a local oil pipeline company in 1956 and as of 2007 is a designated National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Wright gave it a personal name, “the tree that escaped the crowded forest” as if it had been plucked from the heart of Manhattan and replanted on the prairie.

If you look closely, you can see how the building has a trunk like a tree that is its spine and the floors seem to hang like branched from it supporting the patinated green copper leaves. When you stand at a distance from certain angles, you can see how the vertical building has horizontal bands of concrete, copper, and glass opposed by vertical copper fins.

I took so many pictures because this building looks very different from every angle and each point of view reveals something different about the overall design that Wright put into the structure.It is a building that only one picture cannot capture the entirety of its beauty.PriceTower_4159

In the upper floors of the building, it is said that there are paintings that contain pure gold.

In 1981, Price sold the tower to who else, the Phillips Petroleum Company when Price moved his outfit to Dallas. In 2000, Phillips donated the building to the Price Tower Arts Center but is used for multiple purposes.

If you like architecture and are every in the area, it is worth the detour to go see.


PriceTower_4175 PriceTower_4168


– by J.Wade Harrell,

author of Shadows of Siernod and Flames of Palamarr

About J. Wade Harrell

A native of rural SW Oklahoma, I currently write swords and sorcery fiction which I publish in electronic format on Amazon. My interests and hobbies include shooting, riding motorcycles, fishing, watching college football, playing games, and most of all, spending as much time as possible with my better half, Kathy. I hope you enjoy my blog and that it might lead you into my fantastic worlds of swords and magic. -J. Wade Harrell
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