OK gang, as promised I’m going to start doing weekly event suggestions. For my first post I’m highlighting outdoor venues that have struggled through this summer’s brutal heat wave. But with temperatures dropping into the chilly 90s, now is the time to check out what’s going on in the great outdoors downtown:
Midsummer Night’s Dream, Myriad Gardens Water Stage
Thu, Aug 11, 2011: 8:00pm-10:30pm
Fri, Aug 12, 2011: 8:00pm-10:30pm
Sat, Aug 13, 2011: 8:00pm-10:30pm
Learn more at www.oklahomashakespeare.com
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. Colorado Springs
Fri, Aug 12, 2011: 7:05 p.m., Sat, Aug 13, 2011: 7:05 p.m., Sun, Aug 14, 2011: 4:05 p.m.
Learn more at www.okcredhawks.com
JENNIFAY JOY & THE PRETTY BOYS, Thursday, Aug. 11, 7:30-9:30 p.m. On the Chevy Stage in Lower Bricktown, just south of Reno and Mickey Mantle Drive
Learn more at www.welcometobricktown.com
My top pick is the Sunday Twilight Concert Series, which is being hosted for free by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City on the new Grand Event Lawn on the northwest section of the gardens. If you’ve not been to the Myriad Gardens yet, this Sunday may will be a wonderful opportunity to see the make-over that has taken place (and get a stunning view of the Devon tower across the street). Picnics baskets, blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. Even though parts of the gardens are still under construction and the nearby streets are torn up as part of Project 180, attendance for these Sunday night concerts has been impressive and give a glimpse of what’s ahead for downtown.
This Sunday’s concert will be from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and will feature the Flatland Travelers performing a mix of funk, blues and reggae.
Learn more at www.myriadgardens.com/calendar.html
A lot going on downtown these days. Yes, that’s the Detox being torn down. Expect it to disappear within a day or two, with construction set to begin on the new Aloft Hotel.
When the fire department wanted to build a station in Bricktown, the initial designs struck many as being a typical suburban model unworthy of the historic district. Plans were revised, and now we’re getting to see the actual finished building.
The Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority is moving to new digs after being on the 24th floor of CityPlace Tower for the past 30 or so years. This plant has been in the director’s office during the tenure of Cathy O’Connor, JoeVan Bullard and Tiana Douglas (and possibly Horace Huskerson before that!). The agency will be moving to the Hightower Building, but the plant won’t be in the new digs. Don’t worry though… O’Connor reports she has a taker for this virtual jungle.
Thanks goes to Clytie Bunyan, boss extraordinaire, who came back from vacation with this fun page to share with her staff.
The other day I noted a century-old building caught fire. The aftermath isn’t pretty – but if the owners are dedicated to keeping the historic structure in place, this doesn’t appear to be a total goner. I’ve seen worse (the St. Nicholas at nearby NW 8 and Broadway). Gotta wonder what’s next with this….
I wrote about some questionable mid-block pedestrian crossing signs placed along Broadway at NW 8. They vanished today, and I’m hearing conflicting reports as to who actually put them out.
Say goodbye to the “highway.” Spanning up to seven lanes wide, the one-way Hudson Avenue has been seen as a poster child for bad downtown street design – a virtual killing field for pedestrians (if I recall correctly, accidents include an attorney killed while crossing the street a few years ago). The street is being torn up as part of the next phase of Project 180.
Last week an editor of the Amarillo Globe contacted me to get photos of retail linked to the Bricktown Ballpark. I responded there is a lot of retail around the ballpark, but when I was told the writer was trying to show how the ballpark here sparked surrounding development, I provided some context. I explained that the ballpark alone didn’t lure in the restaurants and shops – that it was the combination of the ballpark, the canal and arena. I explained how Bricktown was already gaining speed when the ballpark opened in 1998. I offered to give the Globe editor names of people who could give better context of the Bricktown success story, how all these elements combined created the surrounding retail, and how very little of it could be attributed to the ballpark alone.
The editor wasn’t interested. This context didn’t apparently serve the angle they were going for … I got the impression this story was going to show how ballparks alone spark urban retail, context be damned.
You decide if my concern was correct. Read here.
I’ve been meaning to write about this building, built in 1911 according to assessor’s records. It appeared to be vacant last time I drove by. We have a handful of these properties downtown – full of potential, but in the hands of owners who don’t seem to realize what they have, or have grandiose ideas on how much to demand from a buyer. Not sure if that was the case with this particular building … but it’s apparent loss is a shame.
Now, if the news report is correct, it’s going to be another empty lot. Wonderful, just wonderful. Lesson to others…. dirt sells for much less money.
At OKC Talk, there is a discussion about Deep Deuce and MidTown. The basic gist is an excitement over how Deep Deuce is becoming a truly walkable, mixed-use downtown neighborhood, while the same folks are disappointed about how much empty and undeveloped land persists in MidTown.
Now, for some perspective with the help of some photos. Remember, Deep Deuce development got started in 2000. MidTown development got started in 2006. Bricktown, by the way, was started way back in 1979.