At the time the Mayo brothers opened their furniture store, Tulsa was a small town, with a population of barely 2,000 people. Main Street was a dirt road running north and south from the Frisco railroad tracks. Their first store is believed to have been located at 206 South Main on the west side of Main Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. In 1904, the First National Bank Building was built at 2nd and Main, and a year or two later the Mayo brothers rented larger space in the Shelton Building, at 215 South Main, across the street from their original store. At that time, 3rd Street was the beginning of the residential neighborhoods which surrounded the small commercial center of the city.
As the city grew, buildings sprung up – in 1908, the Robinson Hotel at 3rd and Main was raised to five stories, and in 1909, the Bliss Building was built along 3rd Street to the north. In 1909 the Mayo brothers bought a lot at 5th and Main and started a new five-story building for their furniture store. The following year the new county courthouse began construction a block south at 6th and Boulder.
With the discovery of oil nearby, Tulsa had become a boom town. Its population in 1910 had reached 18,000 and its growth was only beginning. In 1914, Cass and John Mayo bought the lot north of their building and began a new five-story wing. A year later, a new building for Sinclair Oil was started across Main Street on the southeast corner of 5th. Soon the McFarlin Building was going up due east, then the Palace Clothiers building at 4th and Main. By 1917 the Hunt Building was underway at 4th and Main. The Mayo brothers were getting the itch again – they decided to add five more floors to the Mayo Building. In 1918, their building complete, they watched the First National Bank build a new building at 4th and Main.
When Cass Mayo's old house made way for the Petroleum Building in 1921 – a new location for the Mayo Furniture Store – other stores took over the prime frontage along Main Street. On the east side of Main, the Hunt Building rose from four stories to fifteen, as the home of the Brown-Dunkin department store. Main Street was becoming Tulsa’s prime retail shopping district, a distinction it would hold until the 1960s. Office buildings and hotels were mixed in as well. The Alexander and McBirney buildings went up south of 3rd Street, the Hunt-Murry building south of 5th, the Public Service Company south of 6th, and the Alvin Hotel north of 7th, all between 1927 and 1929. During the 1920s, Tulsa underwent a building boom that would define the city for most of the next century.
Main Street began a slow decline after World War II, as suburban shopping sapped the strength of its flagship stores. The Mayo Building underwent a retail renovation in 1954, hoping to stem the tide, but the exodus to the suburbs continued. By the 1960s most of the downtown merchants were struggling. In 1968 the city created the Main Mall, hoping that a pedestrian street would bring back shoppers. It did, for occasional festivals, but by the early 2000s Tulsans were ready to concede its failure, and the street reopened to cars, with fresh sidewalks, streetlights, and furniture, and the promise of a new life for downtown Tulsa.