Tulsa, Oklahoma, holds a special place in the history of oil exploration in the United States. The Golden Driller statue, located in Expo Square, stands as a symbol of the city’s connection to the booming oil industry. The silhouette of the 76-foot-tall oil worker has become a beloved landmark and continues to draw tourists year after year. The Golden Driller began life as a wooden prototype built in the early 1950s. Art professor, Herschel Chandler, was commissioned to design a sculptural tribute to the men and women of the oil industry in the state of Oklahoma. The original design was a platform roughly 21 feet wide and included a ten-foot-tall wooden figure of a driller spiraled atop a stack of oil rigs. Learn information about Tulsa, OK.
The Golden Driller was originally intended as a temporary display for Tulsa’s annual Mayfest festival. It was so well received that plans were made to construct a more permanent sculpture. The new version was built from concrete, steel, and textured aluminum. Chiseled muscles and a bronzed complexion gave the figure of the driller a particularly lifelike appearance. The arms of the figure held the tools of his trade – a steel wrench and a fishtail bit – and opened in salute to the crowds below. Today the Golden Driller towers over Expo Square and can be seen from miles away. It has become a symbol of Tulsa’s heritage and its ties to the oil industry. The statue has been the backdrop for countless events over the years, including a visit from President Ronald Reagan and a season-ending championship game for the Tulsa Oilers hockey team. It is a popular spot for photographers and sightseers alike. Discover facts about The Beauty and History of LaFortune Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma.