A Closer Look The Philbrook Museum is an Italianate villa built as a family estate in 1927 by Texas oilman Waite Phillips of the Phillips Petroleum family. Built on 23 acres, the home had 72 rooms. Waite gave the estate to the city of Tulsa in 1938 and "Villa Philbrook" opened to the public as the Philbrook Museum of Art in 1939.
Formal Grounds The formal gardens that descend from the Museum were part of the estate's original design and inspired by gardens at Villa Lante, an Italian country estate north of Rome designed in 1556.
Reflecting Pools Two of the formal garden's loveliest features are its reflecting pools. The structure at the rear is called a Tempietto, meaning "small temple."
Beautiful walkways at Philbrook take visitors through the estate's grounds, offering along the way such visual treats as topiary, fountains, and statuary.