When 120 members of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Planning Association meet in Bartlesville in October, they’ll include a visit to the city’s circa-1956, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Price Tower as an aside from their business meetings at the new 100-room Hilton Garden Inn Bartlesville.
“We get so many groups who are interested in Frank Lloyd Wright, from architecture conferences to the National Historic Preservation Society, whose members visited us as part of a meeting held in Tulsa,” said Maria Swindell Gus, executive director of the Bartlesville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The site of the state’s first commercial oil well in 1897 and the home of ConocoPhillips today, Bartlesville was built by oil industry barons such as H.C. Price, who hired Wright to build his company’s headquarters in what would become the famed architect’s only finished skyscraper.
Today, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places and includes the 19-room Inn at Price Tower as well as the adjoining Price Tower Arts Center.
“The arts center offers traveling art exhibitions, meeting rooms for 25 and 2,000 square feet of first-floor gallery exhibition space for receptions,” Gus said.
The city’s Frank Lloyd Wright connection continues at the Bartlesville Community Center, which was designed by Wesley Peters, chief architect of Taliesin West and Wright’s son-in-law. It features a 1,700-seat performance hall, a 6,000-square-foot community hall and the world’s largest cloisonne mural, which depicts northeastern Oklahoma.
“Since our biggest economic engines are energy and agriculture, we have many meetings from those fields as well as statewide associations, military and religious groups,” Gus said.