Skirvin Hilton, Oklahoma City's Most Historic Hotel
Historically Modern Since 1911.
Our beautiful Oklahoma City historic hotel was named for its founder, William Balser "Bill" Skirvin, whose daughter, Perle Mesta, became the ambassador to Luxembourg under Harry Truman. The Skirvin Hotel opened to the public in 1911, billed as “The newest, finest hotel in the Southwest.”
In its original stature, the Skirvin consisted of two 10-story towers, and contained 225 rooms. In 1926, a 13-floor third tower was added to the original 10-story towers, and by 1930, all three wings were leveled off to 14 floors.
After the death of W.B. Skirvin in 1945, the Skirvin family sold the 500-room hotel to 43-year-old hotelier Dan James for $3 million. For the next 43 years, ownership of the Skirvin Hilton passed through the hands of several investors and businessmen, including a Chicago-based group named “The Syndicate,” downtown developer H.T. Griffin, trustee Stanton L. Young, and a partnership group headed by Ron Burks.
It was the best hotel in Oklahoma City and hosted notable figures as Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Hoffa, Roger Staubach, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Bob Hope. The Skirvin closed its doors in 1988 and sat neglected for the next 19 years.
As a result of a 1993 voter-approved one-cent sales tax, a renaissance began to take shape in downtown Oklahoma City in 1999. In 2002, the Skirvin, which was not initially a part of this downtown resurgence, found its way back onto the city’s radar as one of its historical hotels.
1n 2005, contractors began preparing the hotel for a long-awaited renovation project that included exterior restoration, installation of historically accurate windows, and new guest elevators. After more than $50 million dollars in renovations, the hotel reopened as The Skirvin Hilton on February 26, 2007 and continues to be one of the coveted Oklahoma landmarks.
In 2011, the Skirvin Hilton celebrated its 100th birthday. Today, our iconic stature makes the Skirvin the best hotel in Oklahoma City.
The videos below tell the unbelievable story of the Skirvin Hilton, a proud Oklahoma City historic hotel.