Palo Duro is an architectural jewel in MidTown, and by all accounts it is a well run special needs home that is an asset to the community. So one can imagine that area residents were quite happy when they were told the Neighborhood Services Organization was going to build a complimentary special needs home on an ugly, empty lot next door – a building that would like this:
Imagine how residents feel today now construction has started and they’ve learned the design has been changed to look like this:
Yeah, neighbors are not happy. But the same Downtown Design Review Committee that approved the chamber headquarters design and demolition of buildings along NW 10 to make way for surface parking, also gave its blessing to this design that neighbors say looks like a cheap motel.
Yep. It’s a done deal.
Members of the Downtown Design Review Committee are: Chair Betsy Brunsteter, Anthony McDermid, Chuck Ainsworth, Jim Loftis, Dick Tanenbaum, GiGi Faulkner and Mark Grubbs. They are appointed by Mayor Mick Cornett.
In my next post I’ll delve into how this committee interprets its responsibility compared to the older, more established Bricktown Urban Design Committee.
I guess, I think, that if I want anyone to read this post, it’s the folks at the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
Something new is happening. Something I’ve not experienced before. In the past few weeks I’ve gotten not one, not two, not three but four emails out of the blue from people I don’t know, but who left Oklahoma to attend college in various fields related to development and planning. And they want to come back home.
Sure, the economy is bad out there. But when I look at their resumes, I see young men and women in their mid-20s whose accomplishments leave me humbled. I’m humbled because they say I’m the guy who has kept them hooked into what’s going on downtown – and, in some cases – I’ve inspired them.
I’m just the guy taking notes and reporting back. But thanks anyway. But as someone who remembers giants like Ray Ackerman and Lee Allen Smith dreaming of this sort of scenario, I’ve got to wonder. If our younger generation has truly fallen in love with their hometown – something that rarely happened when I was in college, what do we do to make sure there are opportunities for these folks?
For what it’s worth, my latest correspondent says he’s willing to intern for next to nothing – or even nothing – just to get a shot at becoming a part of the Oklahoma City dream.