A few days ago, as some of you may recall, we were blessed to hear from Philip Morris, a former Oklahoman writer whose article on Classen Boulevard I posted as a Sunday flashback.
Good news: I get to visit with Mr. Morris a week from Saturday. I’ve been digging into more of his work and it’s quite a find: someone who was devoting his time to writing about urban design issues. Tonight I’ve read stories he wrote about the downtown “parking problem,” the design of the 4040 N Lincoln Building, the pros and cons of pedestrian bridges, and the failure of early efforts to create a model industrial district at NW 36 and Santa Fe (this is something I want to learn more about).
I was most intrigued by an agreement by then Mayor George Shirk to cooperate with the Central AIA’s declaration of “war against ugly architecture.”
Sadly Philip’s tenure didn’t last long – just two years. But he was around long enough to have witnessed the birth of the I.M. Pei plan, and I’m thrilled to hear, knew Mary Jo Nelson (will I hear some fresh stories on my hero? I hope so).
I’ll report back to you.