Maple Ridge Historic Residential District
The Maple Ridge Historic Residential District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.
Maple Ridge Historic District in Tulsa, Oklahoma is a predominately single family, residential district containing approximately 700 homes built from 1913-1932. The area has gentle slopes, and winding tree-lined avenues. There are several small green areas at intersections, and Madison Avenue has a landscaped center median. The area retains its original architectural and historical character, except for several intrusive and new nonintrusive homes.
There is a large variety of styles in the homes of the Maple Ridge Historic District. There are Italianate, Georgian Revival, Neo-Classical Revival, Federal and Colonial Revival, Gothic, Tudor, Jacobethan, Prairie, Bungalow, and Cottage styles. The majority are two- and three-story homes on large-sized lots. Although there are smaller homes in the area they add to the quality and integrity of the district.
The Maple Ridge Historic District houses are constructed of clapboard, stucco, and locally made brick and quarried stone.
The early additions north of East 21st Street were laid out on the grid pattern, but the later additions used a plan of winding roads with graceful curves.
The homes in the Maple Ridge Historic District are well landscaped with flowering trees and bushes, evergreens, and some of the original American elm trees, maples, and oaks. Some of the American elms that lined the streets have been replaced with oak, sweetgum, green ash, and redbud. The mature landscaping probably makes the area more attractive than when it was first begun; there were few trees in the area in 1914.
There are two small apartment complexes from the original period. They are Italianate and Spanish Colonial Revival in style. They retain their original integrity.
Many of the houses in the Maple Ridge Historic District have been restored and rehabilitated since the mid-1960's. Careful attention has been given to architectural and historical detail. Thus, the restorations have been accomplished with very little loss of the original integrity of the area.
Maple Ridge Historic Residential District is an approximate rectangle a mile long and one-third mile wide. It is bounded on the east by Peoria Avenue, by Hazel Boulevard on the south, the Midland Valley Railroad Right-of-Way on the west and by the Broken Arrow Expressway on the north.
Maple Ridge Historic District boundaries were chosen for a number of reasons. The Broken Arrow Expressway on the north and the Midland Valley Railroad Right-of-Way to the west provide both physical and visual barriers. Hazel Boulevard to the south and Peoria Avenue to the east provide historical barriers in that houses beyond these streets were built after 1932.
Architecturally and historically Maple Ridge differs from the Gillette Historic District to the east and north. Maple Ridge is older than Gilette, with the exception of the blocks along Hazel Boulevard and East 26th Street. The houses in Maple Ridge are larger, on larger lots and differ stylistically in that the Gilette homes are primarily 1920s brick bungalows designed as a commuter neighborhood whereas the Maple Ridge homes reflect academic styles between 1913-1932 as well the revival of styles from earlier time periods.
Tracy Park Historic District, north of Maple Ridge Historic District across the Broken Arrow Expressway is a small area dating from the time period ca.1926-1928. Homes that were destroyed by the Broken Arrow Expressway formerly linked Maple Ridge and Tracey Park, however, the Tracey Park residences are smaller in scale and more modest than the general pattern of the residences in Maple Ridge Historic District.
Maple Ridge Historic Residential District in Tulsa, Oklahoma is significant because the development of the Maple Ridge area paralleled the growth of the banking and oil industry in Tulsa in the early 20th century. The men and women who made their wealth in the Glenn Pool oil strike of 1905, and later the Gushing oil field strike of 1912, were the people who built their homes in Maple Ridge.
The Maple Ridge Historic District is significant architecturally because the homes are fine examples of post-World War I styles in emerging suburbs.
Maple Ridge Addition was platted May 11, 1914 by John T. Kramer. On November 3, 1915 he sold the land to banker and land developer Grant Stebbins. To encourage the wealthy oil men, bankers, and other prominent citizens of Tulsa to settle in Maple Ridge he gave a lot to Bird McGuire, first Oklahoma congressman from District 1. This set the precedent for continued growth in the Maple Ridge area. Subsequent additions were platted adjoining Maple Ridge Addition, but the entire historic district has traditionally been called Maple Ridge. Maple Park Addition and Morningside Addition were platted in 1916 and Lionel Aaronson developed and platted Sunset Park in 1916.
The great Glenn Pool oil strike in 1905 insured the growth of Tulsa from a small frontier town into the oil capital of the world. Oklahoma became the principle oil producing state in 1908 and in 1915-1917. The Glenn Pool was the foundation of much of the wealth that helped build the city of Tulsa. Just as oil production in the Glenn Pool was decreasing, the Gushing oil fields went into production. The Gushing oil field dominated the United States and world market from 1912-1920. These were the years when vast fortunes were made and the expansion of Tulsa was greatest. This was the time when many of the houses in Maple Ridge were built. The oilmen, bankers, and real estate investors that settled in Maple Ridge were vital to the continued development of Tulsa and Oklahoma oil production.
The Exchange National Bank was founded in 1910 primarily to accommodate oil producers who needed ready cash and a willing and sympathetic banker. The president of the bank, J.J. McGraw, and the vice president, Arthur Newlin, both had homes in Maple Ridge. McGraw expanded the bank beyond the confines of Oklahoma to include dealings with oil leaders from around the world. The Exchange National Bank was the leader in financing the large oil deals in the Tulsa area, particularly from the Glenn Pool and Gushing oil fields.
Other prominent Maple Ridge residents included oilmen and bankers such as Waite Phillips who worked with Otis McClintock, president of the First National Bank, in incorporating his company into Phillips Petroleum Company in 1917. Waite Phillips is known in Tulsa for his many philanthropic efforts for the city.
Lionel Aaronson built a house for his son Alfred in Maple Ridge Addition. The Aaronsons built many of the houses in the Maple Ridge area, including the Skelly Mansion. Colonel Daniel was also an oil and real estate investor who lived in Maple Ridge. He built the Daniel Building downtown in 1912. It was 10 stories high, the first of its kind in Tulsa. J. Beyer built many prominent homes in Tulsa and built his home in Maple Ridge. J.V. McDonnell was an architect who designed many of the homes in Maple Ridge and built a distinctive Irish cottage for himself and his associate, Beverley Nelson.
Other oil producers, refiners, and drillers who lived in Maple Ridge were William Kistler, Presley Walker, Harry Tyrell, Frank Walling and Henry Ketchum.
W.G. Skelly was president of the Mid Continental Petroleum Corporation. He was very much interested in aviation and established the Spartan Aircraft Company in 1928 and Spartan School of Aeronautics, which manufactured training planes during World War II. He also helped found Tulsa Airport. He gave money to the University of Tulsa so they could build Skelly Stadium, which is still in use today . The homes in the Maple Ridge area are a mixture of historic styles. Each one shows the individuality of its owners, as well as the accepted styles of the time.
The homes were not overly ornate, as in the late 19th century "robber barron" era, rather they were more restained in design and style. There was an interest in achieving more classic styles, but with liveable qualities for the changing post-war times. The neighborhood is cohesive in the large size of the lots and the scale of the two to three story houses. There are smaller houses and lots in the north and south ends of the district, and on the east and west boundaries, but they still contribute to the integrity of the 700-home area. The variety of styles in the houses give the area a significant character, different from surrounding areas. There are Italianate, Georgian Revival, Neo-Classical Revival, Federal and Colonial styles, Gothic, Tudor, Jacobethan, several Prairie styles, Bungalows and Cottage styles. Building materials used were clapboard, stucco, locally made brick and quarried stone.
The Maple Ridge Historic Residential District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.
The Maple Ridge Historic District is a lovely residential area, comparatively hilly for Tulsa, with many large shade trees lining wide avenues, however at the time of building there were not many trees. The one native tree is "The Shadows," a 200 year old oak located at the Aaronson House.
When these homes were first built they were in one of Tulsa's first suburbs. They were considered away from the downtown area, but close enough to commute. Today downtown Tulsa is still a vital and functioning downtown area. All the major banks and many businesses are located there. The downtown area has been revitalized with open areas and green spaces making the environment more pleasant to work in. Thus, the Maple Ridge Historic District is considered a desirable place to live. It is in close proximity to downtown Tulsa, yet retains the amenities of a suburb.
In summary, the Tulsa pioneer spirit was clearly evident in the rough and ready, willing-to-take-a-gamble attitude of the early oil developers and bankers.
The first owners were young, enterprising, and vital people building a future in an expanding city in a state founded in 1907. They had a true determination to succeed. This is reflected in the distinctive, individualistic, architecturally designed homes and tree-lined streets of Maple Ridge, still an integral part of the city of Tulsa.
The Bird McGuire House, built in 1915, is an example of the pride and individuality of the people who built in the area. Mrs. McGuire went out to the nearby Osage hill country with their architect, John Blair, and hand-picked the stones for her house.
New leaders have taken the place of the first owners. Many professionals, doctors, congressmen, businessmen and women, now make Maple Ridge their homes.
These new owners show a concern for the preservation and restoration of their homes and many have been restored.
A neighborhood association was formed in 1964. The Maple Ridge Association was responsible for keeping the proposed Broken Arrow Expressway from cutting through part of the Maple Ridge district. The expressway now runs north of the area. The Maple Ridge Association is interested in keeping residential zoning laws and preserving the integrity of Maple Ridge Historic District. The true pioneer spirit of the area has prevailed over the years.
Butler, William. Tulsa 75: A History of Tulsa. The Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, 1974. 228 pp.
Carney, George O. Gushing Oil Field: Historic Preservation Survey. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, 1981. 101 pp.
Debo, Angie. Tulsa: From Creek Town to Oil Capital. U. Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1943, 123 pp.
Dunn, Nina Lane. Tulsa's Magic Roots. N. L. D. Corp., Tulsa, 1979, 398 pp.
Glasscock, C. B. Then Came Oil: The Story of the Last Frontier. Bobbs-Merrill Co., N.Y., 1938, 349 pp.
Hood, William W., Jr. An Interview with John Blair, Tulsa's Grand Architect, 1975.
Maple Ridge Association. A Heritage of Tulsa: Maple Ridge.
M'Clintoch, R. M. "Tulsa: A Story of Achievement." Tulsa Tribune, 1924.
Tulsa County Library. Verticle files: Tulsa Maple Ridge and Tulsa Homes.
Tulsa Spirit. Continental Heritage Press, 1979, 192 pp.
† Janie Downs, Oklahoma Preservation Survey, Maple Ridge Historic Residential District, Tulsa, Oklahoma, nomination document, 1982, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.