Thursday, October 30, 2008

CityPlex Towers

CityPlex Towers sits at 81st and Lewis and is about one half mile East of the river. Its great height makes it seem nearer the waters edge when seen from the West.

Formerly the City of Faith Hospital, the CityPlex Towers is a complex of three triangular buildings. The central tower is 60 stories, the East tower 20 stories, the West tower 30 Stories. Due to its open location it can be seen from miles away no matter how one approaches the city. Its history is interesting.

Tulsa evangelist and faith healer Oral Roberts raised a great deal of money from the contributions to his radio and television ministry. He built a school here in Tulsa in the late 1960's which he modestly named Oral Roberts University.

In 1977 Oral Roberts claimed to have received a vision telling him to build the City of Faith Medical and Research Center, which would become a great center of both spiritual and medical healing. Although advised that such a large hospital could not be financially sustainable, Roberts claimed to have more visions of Jesus who encouraged him to continue the project. He believed that Evangelical Christians would come from great distances to receive treatment at the City of Faith.

The hospital accepted its first patient in November 1981. By 1986 the City of Faith was losing over $10 million dollars a year. In 1987, with costs spiraling out of control, the medical center went largely vacant. Roberts told a television audience unless he raised $8 million by March, God would "call him home" (a euphemism for death).

The donations goal was reached but Roberts soon began looking for buyers or people to manage the facility. Unfortunately, many of the sick who came from great distances did so expecting to be treated at no cost, creating a difficult situation. In 1989, only eight years after it opened, the City of Faith was $25 million in debt and Roberts closed the hospital. Most of the complex was converted to office space and leased out as CityPlex Towers.

Much of the interior space was left uncompleted since the initial construction. In 2007 the facility was about 50% occupied. The university whose campus is adjacent continues as a successful Christian Liberal Arts School.


Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

The empty landscape makes them look even taller. Interesting story!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

That's a fascinating story, just wish I knew as much about our Leeds buildings as you.