BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — A beloved historic building in Bartlesville that housed thousands of Phillips employees for decades is receiving a much needed makeover.
Built in the 1940s by the Phillips Petroleum Company and completed in the early 50s, Hotel Phillips was originally designed as a hotel and apartment building.
“It was done because they wanted to house all the new employees that were coming in and didn’t have places to live yet," Chris Wilson, Bartlesville Redevelopment Trust Authority Director, said.
“It was maintained impeccably, everything was really A-class and it had eroded over the years,” said Travis Reese, the new owner of the building.
He plans to replace failed systems, update the apartments, add office space for entrepreneurs, but still keep the original charm.
Many Bartlesville residents have fond memories of Hotel Phillips.
Steve Rohleder worked at the hotel in the 1980s as the food and beverage director, but his connection to the building began years before.
“It was place where my parents stayed and when they first got transferred," Rohleder said. "My dad worked for Phillips and we stayed here until they found a house to live in.”
With so many old buildings in Bartlesville being torn down, Rohleder said he’s excited the old hotel is receiving some TLC instead.
“We always hoped someone would come in here and revitalize it and breath new air into it," Rohleder said.
The owners are still trying to find the right name for the building.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
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