It’s been suggested by a reader who also happens to be an architect that these Bricktown fire station designs look as if they were “value engineered” – city speak for cutting design features to keep the station within budget. But how can the city insist that private enterprise spend more, or be more creative at doing good design while keeping costs down, if it’s not willing to set the example.
McDonalds insisted it had to duplicate a suburban design already built in Mustang when it wanted to build in Bricktown – but the Bricktown Urban Design Committee didn’t cave when threatened with the possibility the restaurant wouldn’t get built. And guess what – McDonalds came around and found a way to design the restaurant so that it fit into Bricktown.
This project has been mired in controversy for the past several years. Remember, this is not a station that Bricktown merchants or property owners wanted or asked for. They privately fought against it, worried about fire engines racing down Sheridan Avenue, a pedestrian-heavy traffic corridor.
At least one Bricktown merchant swears that this station will result in a pedestrian getting hit by a fire engine racing to a medical call or accident. And such worries have been expressed to city officials in the past, so one must wonder what their liability will be if this comes to pass. Will an attorney dig up these warnings and then use them to get a big hefty settlement from taxpayers?
It was the city staff who insisted it had to build a new station in Bricktown and eliminate the one in the Oklahoma Health Center. And it was Assistant City Manager Jim Thompson who promised the Bricktown Association the station design would be one they could be proud of. So far, the response I’m hearing doesn’t involve a lot of pride.
Question: Is the Bricktown Police Substation something you would point to with pride? Would this fire station design evoke the same response? If this project does involve the old firefighter/police envy, well, sorry firefighters, but you’re not making the greatest impression on readers of OKC Central.