- The company is not looking to get a pass on just razing every old building around the former Kerr McGee Tower. Company officials and architects are meeting with city planners and local leaders about how best to address the overall campus. Company officials know they face a likely difficult hearing with the Downtown Design Review Committee if they propose tearing down any of the older buildings.
ABOVE PHOTO: “CONSTRUCTION of new additions to Oklahoma City’s skyline is running right on schedule. Four of the major downtown projects, costing more than $45 million, are shown in this aerial photograph. Upper left is the $1 million-plus high-rise parking garage being built by the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority. Well on the way toward completion is the 35-story Liberty Tower (upper right) costing $18.5 million. Rising out of the ground in the center of the photograph is the 30-story, $20 million office tower of Kerr- McGee Corp., and Fidelity Bank’s $6 million, 14-story office building (lower right) has most of its steel framework in place.” Staff photo by Al McLaughlin probably taken about 12/5/1970.
- At least two accomplished local developers would like to move forward with a conversion of the former Braniff building and adjoining tower into housing. SandRidge hasn’t discounted such possibilities either, but it’s clear they are not thrilled with the older buildings hiding the central tower either.
- The NYC architectural firm Rogers Marvel Architects are big followers of urban planner William Whyte and say they’re well aware of past mistakes made downtown where towers were built with large open plazas around them (and thus are unused and have little or no connection with pedestrians).
- City planners and officials are not very happy about the prospect of tearing down the older buildings.
More to come later.