UTICA SQUARE
East 21st Street South and South Utica Avenue
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Among the first regional shopping centers on the Great Plains, Tulsa's UTICA SQUARE was built on 25.6 acres, lying 1.2 miles southeast of the downtown area. The cluster-format complex was developed by Tom Nix and Dale Carter and designed by Malcolm McCune.

UTICA SQUARE was formally dedicated May 22, 1952. It incorporated four store blocks and encompassed approximately 319,000 leasable square feet. There were fifty-eight stores and services.

Charter tenants included Walgreen Drug, House of Monogram, Clark-Darland Hardware, Trippet's Shoes, Field's ladies' wear, Dorothy's Bridal Salon, Utica Bowl, a T G & Y 5 & 10 and Safeway and Humpty Dumpty supermarkets. Upper Level space housed offices for Phillips Petroleum.

The first phase of the Utica Square Medical Center was completed in 1954. The intial 3-level structure encompassed 60,000 square feet. It was expanded with an 8-story office tower in 1964. Tulsa-based Vandevers opened a 2-level (50,000 square foot) location at UTICA SQUARE on February 2, 1957.

Another Tulsa mercantile, Miss Jackson's, moved from the center city into a 2-level (33,000 square foot) UTICA SQUARE store on August 29, 1965. Meanwhile, in June 1964, Tulsa's Helmerich & Payne, a petroleum company, had acquired the shopping complex, which now included elements of Moderne, New Orleans Traditional, Williamsburg, Georgian and Country French design.

Tulsa's suburban expansion toward the southeast brought new shopping malls. SOUTHLAND CENTER and SOUTHROADS MALL {2.9 miles southeast, in Tulsa}, opened in 1965 and 1967, respectively. These were followed by WOODLAND HILLS MALL {5.5 miles southeast, also in Tulsa} in 1976.

In the 1970s, the Vandevers space at UTICA SQUARE was taken by Oklahoma City-based John A. Brown. The next decade brought Dillard's, who rebranded the John. A. Brown store in September 1984.

Houston-based Sakowitz operated a (10,000 square foot) boutique-type store in the complex, which was in business between September 1984 and August 1985. A 2-level (65,000 square foot) Saks Fifth Avenue made its debut in September 1986.

By the 21st century, nearly all of the shopping center's original tenants were gone. The list of stores had shifted substantially upscale, with names such as the aforementioned Saks, as well as Pavilion, Ann Taylor, Coach and Restoration Hardware.

Dillard's, shuttered in January 2002, was replaced by Pottery Barn Kids and American Eagle Outfitters. The Medical Center structure was vacated and imploded in March 2002. Two freestanding restaurants, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and P.F. Chang's China Bistro, were built on its space.

Miss Jackson's was shuttered in January 2016. The building, and the adjacent Petty's Fine Foods, were demolished in April of the same year and replaced by new inline stores.

In the Twenty-tens, Tulsa's original suburban shopopolis encompasses 400,000 leasable square feet and houses over sixty stores and services. The center is known for staging several annual events, including Summer's Fifth Night (May), Art In The Square (October) and Lights On! (November-December).

Sources:

preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.doc
The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal
The Knight Ridder Tribune
www.uticasquare.com
www.hpinc.com (Helmerich & Payne Properties)
Tulsa County property tax assessor website
www.missjacksons.com
Comment post by Daniel Brunson