“That picture we have, we’re not happy with it. It’s not what we want to build.”
That’s a quote from my conversation today with Deputy Fire Chief Cecil Clay concerning renderings of the proposed Bricktown fire station – drawings that were submitted to the Oklahoma City Council for approval of preliminary design and an ok to move forward with bringing them to final design.
The conversation was like he was speaking Greek and I was speaking Chinese. Both Clay and Fire Chief Keith Bryant said today they want a station that will fit into Bricktown. He kept insisting that I needed to see the drawings of what the interior set-up will be. I kept trying to explain the interiors are of no concern to Bricktown Urban Design or my readers and that they were concerned with the exterior. He kept saying that the exteriors at this stage don’t matter – that they weren’t important to what was being submitted to the city council. I got no impression that they truly understand what it might mean to design a building that is an appropriate fit for a historic urban design district.
Here’s an email I sent to Clay after the conversation:
Cecil, thanks for visiting with me today about the Bricktown fire station design. The following is what I took out of our conversation:
1. The Oklahoma City Fire Department will submit the fire station design to Bricktown Urban Design when the design meets with fire administration approval.
2. The Oklahoma City Fire Department realizes it might have to make substantial changes to the station design if it is rejected by Bricktown Urban Design.
3. You’re not sure how the drawings I posted on the blog were included in the request for approval of preliminary design submitted today to the Oklahoma City Council. You said the council could have approved preliminary design without any exterior renderings.
4. You said the designs I posted are not acceptable to fire administration (something repeated to me earlier today by Chief Keith Bryant).
5. You said changes might include globes and a tower similar to features on the Bricktown police substation.
6. You said the existing station at NE 8 and Lincoln is outdated and can’t be rebuilt at the current site because that land is being requested by the OU Medical Center/Oklahoma Health Center.
7. You said no other locations could be found around Bricktown and no land could be bought along the industrial corridor along nearby E Reno.
8. You said the fire adminstration’s focus has been on interior function. You said that like many houses being built today, you can place any exterior around an interior once the interior is set.
9. You said the pitched metal roof shown on the station design is in keeping with the historic Bricktown warehouse look and that it would be more cost effective on long-term maintenance.
10. You said that to service the people who visit Bricktown, the station needs to be in Bricktown.
11. You said that cost restraints are an issue with this project.
12. You said Bricktown is an appropriate location for a fire station.
13. You said the cost and time needed to redesign won’t be cited as a reason to refuse any changes that might be cited by the Bricktown Urban Design Committee.
14. You said the architects, LWPB, were selected for their experience designing fire stations, and acknowledged you had no awareness of any experience they might have designing structures within historic districts.
Here is Deputy Clay’s response:
Steve,I would once again bring up the fact that the Brick Town Station was voted on in the 2000 bond.
The bond issue stated the station was for the Brick Town area and the bond was listed funds.
I would again let you know I’m available to go over everything I have done on this project.
Cecil W. Clay
Oklahoma City Fire Department
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