Downtown Tulsa Underground Tunnels


Buried beneath downtown Tulsa, a system of secret underground tunnels were built to connect many of Tulsa's early skyscrapers. The tunnel system was designed at first for freight, but soon became a millionaires highway, protecting the wealthy and elite from danger. This is a story of Tulsa's secret tunnels.

Tulsa Tunnels: A Guide


He stood at the window, clutching his brown fedora in his hands, admiring the "queen of the Tulsa skyline." Waite Phillips was proud of his creation. The Philtower was completed in 1927, and the building he now stood in, the Philcade, was completed just two years later. He felt as if he owned the city, and still, he was humble enough to know that if it weren’t for his elder brothers and the support of the community, he wouldn't be where he is today.

Still, as with all wealthy businessmen of the day, Waite Phillips had to remain vigilant. The lawlessness that centered in Chicago during the 1920's and 30’s spread fear across the country, especially among many prominent and powerful citizens. Many millionaires began taking precautions, especially after the son of Charles Lindbergh was abducted in 1932.

From this fear of crime and chaos in a distant part of the country, the Tulsa underground tunnels were born.
Construction of the Tulsa tunnels began in 1929 with an 80-foot underground tunnel running between the Philtower and the Philcade. The tunnel was originally designed as a way to transport materials between the two buildings, however due to the rash of kidnappings of wealthy businessmen in Chicago at the time, Waite Phillips felt secure in being able to move freely between the two buildings....

Map of the Tulsa Underground Tunnels as published on HubPages.

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