- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Attorney Gentner Drummond has acquired Tulsa’s historic McBirney Mansion for $2 million, with plans to return it to residential use.

“Everybody’s excited about that,” Roger Erker, a managing broker with Tulsa’s McGraw Realtors, told The Journal Record (https://bit.ly/1sCgOxN). “That’s probably exactly what the McBirneys would have wanted.”

Drummond has hired interior designer Chad Renfro and general contractor Chad Osgood to help him restore the home to its former grandeur. Drummond said the project could take nine months.

“We’re not going to add to it or take anything away from it,” he said, laughing at projected cost questions. “More than I want to spend.”

Indian Territory land run pioneer James H. McBirney built the 1414 S. Galveston Ave. home in 1928, according to Tulsa County assessor records. Two years later a small carriage house was added to the four-level Tudor Gothic home.

According to legend, noted author Washington Irving camped at the 2.9-acre site in 1832, taking one of many rests during his American frontier travels. A Bixby park also bears his name from a similar camping stay.

Tulsa County Courthouse records indicate that Antigone Properties LLC of Tulsa, managed by Drummond, bought the nine-bedroom home from OKAZ Real Estate Partners LLC. That Denver firm, managed by the Saint Matthew Charitable Foundation, acquired the property through foreclosure in February.

Antigone’s proposal overcame three competing offers, Erker said. These included plans to use the mansion as an office building or a bed and breakfast, both roles it has filled in the past.

“We’re very pleased it’s going to be used as a residence,” Erker said.

Drummond, co-founder of Tulsa’s Drummond Law Firm PLLC, said he is looking forward to moving into the home.

“I’ve admired it all my life,” he said.

Courthouse records indicate that Antigone took a $2.35 million variable-interest-rate mortgage on the property, the debt due Dec. 20, 2019.

The McBirney family lived in the home until 1976, having seen it downsize from a property that once boasted a 3-acre golf course and spring-fed pond with rainbow trout, according to Tulsa architectural historian John Brooks Walton.

The mansion, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, saw use as a law office and bed-and-breakfast. Former American Airlines President George A. Warde bought the mansion in 2008 with plans for expansion, but the recession and his January 2012 death kept that $30 million dream from taking flight.

OKAZ filed its foreclosure lawsuit in July 2013 to collect on Warde’s $2.86 million loan.

While the 15,900-square-foot complex remains in excellent condition, Erker said Drummond would probably improve the kitchen and other areas. Drummond said he was considering adding a garden going down to Riverside.

“They’ll probably make a lot of improvements,” Erker said. “It’s just going to be a great asset for the neighborhood.”

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