Some final bits and then it’s time to lighten up a bit.
First, thanks to everybody for engaging in some really good and tough discussions this week.
Second, some final bits of insight on the SandRidge decision. I’m hearing that the tours last week of the India Temple Building revealed the original brick facade is very much intact under the fake facade, though some of the protruding granite window sills were shaved off and windows were removed. This would appear to be a very similar situation to the Skirvin prior to renovations a couple years ago.
Finally, may I just say that I love the following song. And to repeat one commenter over at You Tube, “nobody does a fake seizure better than David Byrne.”
Yep. My God, what have I done? (Time isn’t owning us)
ANTHONY MCDERMID: “…BLOOD IS ON OUR HANDS….”
So now we know Jim Loftis is supporting demolition. Gigi saying the same…
Get ready for the largest scale demolition downtown since the 1970s….
Looks like he’s arguing for demolition….
This veteran, award winning architect, also on the downtown design review committee, is speaking now…
Reminding the group of his experience with historic register, preservation work….
Things aren’t looking good for those wanting to save the older buildings on the SandRidge campus. Clearly Betsy Brunsteter is against the demolition, while Dick Tanenbaum and Chuck Ainsworth are for it.
Anthony McDermid declined to comment or weigh in so far…
Yep, that’s the quote, attributed to heavyweights like Bob Blackburn, director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, that is cited frequently by SandRidge Energy as it continues to fight to tear down several buildings on its downtown campus. But what does that mean?
Maybe we’ll find out more today as the Downtown Design Review Committee tours the buildings in question (they convene at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at City Hall and will leave for the tour). We know that the Braniff Building was placed on the Register of Historic Places 30 years ago against the strenuous arguments by then owner Kerr McGee. We don’t know whether it was Kerr McGee that stopped the remaining buildings from being placed on the register at that time or whether they were deemed not worthy.
What’s curious about the neighboring Kermac Building is that it’s difficult to see how the modifications to it were any different than those to the Braniff Building. A different set of issues are involved with the former India Temple Building. To be blunt, I have the words of a dying man who put up the cheesy fake concrete facade who insisted the original facade is intact beneath the facade. I couldn’t find anything in SandRidge’s application that indicates whether they tried to determine whether or not this was the case.
All of this keeps me going back to “not currently eligible”… what does that mean? Would the same judgment have been cast on the following building as well?
Before the revival of the Oklahoma River and emergence of Boathouse Row, before MidTown and the Plaza District, before MAPS and Bricktown, there was the I.M. Pei Plan. The transformation of downtown OKC began, for good or bad, with an ambitious plan drawn up by internationally reknown architect and urban planner I.M. Pei.
Pei unveiled the plan in 1964 with a 10-foot by 12-foot model that cost $60,000 to create. He called for the clear-cutting of hundreds of downtown buildings, many historic, to make way for a “city of tomorrow.” This model, and an accompanying film and murals created during that era, will be on display at the Cox Convention Center during the Main Streets Conference.
The plan was later reviled by locals, but are there lessons, good and bad, to be learned from this experiment? The model was last displayed at the Smithsonian in 1995 and has been in underground storage ever since. This model is returning to public display on May 3 – the start of the conference. An unveiling featuring comments by Mayor Mick Cornett and Dr. Bob Blackburn, director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, will be held at 5:30 p.m. May 3.
To learn more about the I.M. Pei Plan and efforts to bring the model back for display, please visit www.impeiokc.com.