Of course, it was not so elegant in my memory. My whole life the Camelot was in decay, abandoned and broken down. But it was still a castle. I always thought there must be some kind of magic kingdom behind those broken windows. Perhaps a sleeping princess who would restore her castle to glory once she had awoken. But she didn't wake up in time because the Camelot Hotel was torn down and replaced by a Best Western. It was a surprise on my visit to Tulsa when I didn't see the turret rising over the buildings. I immediately felt an ache for that old castle, even if no one had stayed in it for years. Well, stayed in it as a hotel. Over the years, it had become home to many a vandal and plenty of vermin. But you could still see remnants of the old elegance and majesty.
In 1996, the Camelot was condemned for public habitation. But despite the condemnation, the people of Tulsa still loved that decaying old building. One survey found that up to 80% of Tulsans were opposed to demolishing the Camelot. Most probably for sentimental reasons. After all, many people had attended proms, weddings, and other major events at the hotel. It was once a site where prominent celebrities stayed on their visits to the Sooner State (including Elvis and Richard Nixon).
But despite the love of the city, the Camelot could not be saved. Demolition began in August 2007. In September, the ballroom had been torn down and the building had caught fire. The Camelot was finally gone in April 2008. It is truly sad to see such a beautiful landmark go, even if it had past its prime.
Total Time Traveled: 9 hours
Total Distance Traveled: 522 miles
Soundtrack: "Cue the Theme Music" Playlist