Tulsa Time Warp: Car Service

A 1930s image of the K.C. Auto Hotel at 313 S. Cincinnati Ave. A line of new Fords and Chevrolets are on display as rentals. The lunch cafe is seen on the right. Two gas pumps can be seen on the sidewalk behind the cars. The overhead sign reads “Inside Parking 4 hours 35 cents — 12 hours 50 cents; Storage — Washing — Greasing.”

Real estate developer Kelly Conner opened the K.C. Auto Hotel at 313 S. Cincinnati Ave. in 1927. It was designed by Frank C. Walter and was the first parking garage of its kind in Tulsa.

The seven-story parkade employed nearly two dozen attendants, providing 24/7 full-service cleaning and maintenance to vehicles during their stay.

Customers were treated to a posh experience. The roof featured a miniature golf course and penthouse, the ground level a lunch counter and small filling station.

Parking at the hotel was by the hour, day, week or month. During the ’30s, customers were able to rent fully insured Ford, Plymouth, Chrysler or Dodge automobiles from the parkade with delivery as an option.

In later years, the crumbling brick façade was reinforced with stucco. The hotel still operates as a parking garage, functioning as intended over 90 years later, a unique characteristic of few historic Tulsa buildings. 

For more from Patrick McNicholas, follow @tulsapast on Instagram.

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