Charles Stevens Dilbeck: The Tulsa Homes (exposed!)

Posted on: June 24th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 1 Comment

Dilbeck designed homeDon’t miss this opportunity to discover the delightful works of Charles Stevens Dilbeck. Led by John Brooks Walton, a local architect, artist, and author, we traveled through a number of Tulsa’s residential neighborhoods. It seems as though Tulsa is peppered with the cozy, playful works of Dilbeck. By the end of the day I was pointing out homes I thought were “Dilbecks” in the hopes of being let into this fan club.

Dilbeck residential detailDilbeck moved to Tulsa as a child and some would say the he was a child prodigy of the architectural kind. By the age of 10 he was assisting his father by drafting plans for building projects. Incredibly by 11 Dilbeck had designed the Baptist Church and supervised its building. By the age of 15 Dilbeck was hired by a local lumber yard where he drew plans and made alterations to client’s projects and at 16 he was recruited by a competitor to head the architectural department. Already quite established (this is where I kind of started having a complex!)

Dilbeck decided to study architecture and attended Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Oklahoma State University). After 2 years he dropped out to start his own practice. Who can blame him? It seems as though he was already on a brilliant path. During the next three or fours years Dilbeck was busy designing homes for some of Tulsa’s wealthiest. The crash of ’29 impacted his business here in Tulsa, so Dilbeck moved on to Dallas where he spent the remainder of his career.

Dilbeck - one my favorites!John has great stories and anecdotes to share about Dilbeck and his works. Be sure to ask about the “tented house” and the "free" crinkle brick. I will let you in on a little secret – John lives in a Dilbeck and is graciously opening it up for this session. So be sure you sign up for this session. By the end I am sure that you will have picked a favorite one, or two, or maybe three… I have!

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One Response

  1. Martha Kelly King

    April 18, 2009

    We just purchased a Dilbeck home in Kessler Park. We would love to tour or see more pictures of his homes. Our new home needs extensive remodeling and want to do it justice.