William Hider is doing some great work at OKC Talk and elsewhere online keeping up with what’s going on downtown. The above video focuses on Main Street of today, which leads us to some great photos Williams discovered at the Oklahoma Historical Society:
Look familiar? Here’s a more recent view of Main Street…
Now let’s go back and get a closer look of Main Street from a half century ago:
We know this building is part of a collection of properties on this block purchased by Nicholas Preftakes, who is being very quiet about his intentions. We also know that the block is across the street from Devon Energy Center. And we know that Devon’s new wellness center has an incredible view of Main Street.
Reach your own conclusions as to what all this might mean.
Now let’s take one step forward. Let’s pretend, just for a moment, that a major company that has shown it wants to promote downtown and move it forward, might have an interest in these buildings. Let’s also pretend, for a moment, that an institution like the City Arts Center might be interested in moving downtown.
Imagine the old Baron’s department store restored, with the help of tax credits, to become the new home of the City Arts Center. Imagine the storefronts recreated to showcase various art work by students.
The tile facade on the old Baron’s building is, upon close inspection, fairly stunning and very unique. The terrazzo flooring is still intact…
Imagine Main Street … brought back to life.