This past weekend Jason and I joined his classmates at The Mayo Hotel for Barrister’s Ball, law school’s version of prom. The Mayo is a gorgeous historic hotel in downtown Tulsa that was recently renovated after being abandoned for 20 years. It was built in 1925 at the height of Tulsa’s oil boom and hosted many notable guests over the years, including JFK, Elvis, Babe Ruth, Bob Hope and Mae West. Designed by architect George Winkler, the 18-story hotel is typical of the Sullivanesque style of architecture because it’s terra cotta facade is organized into three parts that identify the purpose of the spaces within (or, as architect Louis Sullivan would say, “Form follows function.”).
The Mayo had already fallen into serious disrepair when the current owners (who happen to be Aggies!) purchased the building in 2001 for $250,000. Many of the original architectural elements had been stripped during a terrible renovation in the 1980′s. They initially focused on restoring just the lobby to hold events and slowly began tackling the upper floors over time. Finally, almost nine years later, the renovation project was completed to the tune of $40 million. Today the Mayo boasts 70 luxury residences, 102 boutique hotel rooms, a gorgeous ballroom on the 16th floor, a chic rooftop bar, a fancy restaurant, and my favorite coffee shop in Tulsa.
Top photo courtesy of Summit Hotels & Resorts.
Our evening at The Mayo felt like a mini vacation! The hotel room was beautifully decorated with modern furnishings and came with a great view of downtown. We sipped cocktails on the rooftop, enjoyed a candlelit dinner in the ballroom, and mingled with law school friends. I’m already looking for an excuse to plan another staycation at The Mayo!