Pawhuska, Circa 1925 – Looking South Down Ki-He-Kah Street, with HOTEL WHITING on the far right.

The HOTEL WHITING was originally known as “The Whiting Apartments”, a.k.a. “The Whiting”.  It was built circa 1920 by VERNON WHITING as Pawhuska was rapidly growing due to the oil boom that spawned local Oklahoma millionaires such as Frank Phillips (Phillips 66) and E.W. Marland (Marland Oil). 

THE WHITING, Circa early 1950s

“The Whiting” is a very unique piece of architecture.  There are 20 apartments on the second floor but they are split across 4 upper building “blocks”, that protrude from a continuous first floor of 11 commercial units spanning the west side of Ki-he-kah Street from the 7th Street Stairs all the way to 8th Street, approximately 250 feet.

Ki-he-kah Street, Pawhuska, Okla, THE WHITING on far right, Circa mid 1920s

The building was a ground breaking achievement of urban planning at the time.  It is nestled into the edge of the forests that come down the hillside, at the base of Agency Hill (atop which sits the Osage Agency).  This creates a feeling of being on the ground level when approaching the upper apartment level from the west.  But clearly from the front it is actually a 2 story structure.  The 4 apartment building “blocks” on the upper floor are generously spaced apart, giving a feeling that one is again at ground level surrounded by open paved space.  The courtyards/terraces and balconies surround all of the four buildings.  The front cantilevered balcony is over 10 feet deep, creating a great social experience between the residential tenants and the active commercial areas and sidewalk and street below.  This kind of interaction was/is rare in downtown buildings, especially in 1920 and especially in Pawhuska.

The architectural style of “The Whiting” has many Arts and Crafts elements, as exemplified by its simple horizontal and vertical lines, brick reliefs, and 8-over-1 double hung sash windows. It also has some early Art Deco influences in the stucco geometric stepped parapet facades.

THE WHITING, Circa 1930

Over the decades, The Whiting Apartments has been the home of storekeepers, oil field workers, recently married couples, retirees, etc.

THE WHITING, Circa mid 1920s

The Whiting Apartment building was built by Mr. VERNON WHITING and his second wife, Mrs. MAUDE A. WHITING, circa 1920.

Mr. Vernon Whiting and Mrs. Maude A. Whiting

Circa 1924

VERNON WHITING – Click the name for a detailed bio

MAUDE A. WHITING – Click the name for a detailed bio