Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ardmore, Oklahoma: Simpson Building

Ardmore - Simpson Building

C.T. American Art (~1920s)

The building is now called the Colston Building. When I was home before Christmas, I took a few photos of how it looks today:




The building exterior features a plaque with a narrative of its history:
Built in 1918, the Simpson Building was Ardmore’s first attempt at building a skyscraper office building. B.A. Simpson, P.C. Dings, and Roy M. Johnson, all of Ardmore, financed the building’s construction.
The building’s first floor fa├žade was lined with white tiling, with the remainder of the building constructed with red bricks. The floors were finished in Ohio flint tiling, with wainscoting of Carthage grey marble. Wood finish on the first floor was of mahogany, with finishes on upper floors of light oak. Base molding throughout the building was made from Vermont black marble.
Each floor was divided into 22 offices. Tenants of these offices were furnished ice water from the basement where ice was made by special machinery. A vacuum machine, also in the basement, was connected by a system of pipes to every room in the building to remove dust and litter. The building originally generated its own electricity and had a coal-fired boiler, which heated the entire building.
Original occupants of the first floor were the Guaranty Bank on the corner and the Myers and Boyd Drug Store on the east side. Since 1918, four other banks have occupied the Guaranty space, and three drugstores the Myers and Boyd space.
The first tenant’s office was selected from the blue prints. This was the firm of Dolman and Dyer, Attorneys at Law, whose descendants still practice law from offices located in this building.
In the late 1920’s the International Independent Oil Producers was organized in this building.
The building was purchased by Quintin Little and Carrie Lou Little in 1949, who renamed it the Little Building. The Little family did extensive interior remodeling and utility upgrade in 1968 – 1969. Subsequently, in 1975, the building was acquired by The Colston Corporation, with stockholders being Bob Colston and Thomas C. Jobe. The building was later renamed the Colston Building.


Christine H. said...

It's amusing that the building was designed to be the first skyscraper and then ended up being called the Little Building. The interior sounds beautiful. Is it still intact?

Aimee Dars said...

It is -- my great aunt had an office there for awhile in the 1990s. I don't remember the inside very well though.

Jessica said...

I love old pictures of buildings. It looks like they take good care of the building.

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