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Old Posted Jul 22, 2019, 1:09 PM
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2019, 2:57 PM
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Social Capital OKC has updated to a new website.

website: https://www.socialcapitalokc.com/

Now proclaiming a fall opening.

This is the rendering:

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Old Posted Jul 23, 2019, 12:45 PM
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Left Frame Lofts


Concrete completed, steel work for the rooftop up next and then we start closing it off.

from an earlier post, here's a view from the 3rd floor of these lofts:

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Old Posted Jul 23, 2019, 2:16 PM
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The Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center has just started to receive its reflective cladding.

Here's the building:

The first pieces of cladding installed:

A rendering that shows the final effect:

According to a poster at OKCTalk, the panels being installed are "heavy gauge clear mill-finish aluminum".

Not sure what effect the finished surface will have on the surroundings.
Hopefully, folks passing by won't be blinded by mid-day sun reflections.

From a couple of day ago, here's a view from the 4th floor:

The building under construction in the background is Broadway Park.

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Old Posted Jul 23, 2019, 6:13 PM
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The Bower at 4th & Lee


We can compare that last pic with a rendering from practically the same point of view:


This is supposed to be finished sometime in 2019.

There's a video of this project from back in March from NewsOK:

It's a good chance to see and hear from developer Richard McKown.
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2019, 8:29 PM
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The comprehensive renovation of the State Capitol complex continues.


Oklahoma News Report has put together a very good video showing the current state of the work:

Video Link
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 12:57 PM
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The Collective OKC

It seems like I've said this place was about to open half a dozen times.
But this time it really is.
Monday, 7-29-2019.

It will open with 10 kitchens.
Here's the list:
  • Beth Lyon’s Black Cat - organic foods
  • Café de L’Asie - French / Vietnamese fusion
  • The Flying Pig BBQ - good ole bbq
  • Fried Taco - Puerto Rican / Caribbean fusion
  • Local-homa - American dishes using local food sources (farm-to-table)
  • Okie Pokie - poke (Hawaiian style raw seafood salad)
  • Oh Baby! - Dutch babies (German style puffed pancakes)
  • Press Waffle Co. - fermented waffles
  • Shaka - Hawaiian cuisine
  • Theo’s Doughnuts - brioche style doughnuts
There will also be two full service bars and coffee service (LaColombe).

Here are some preview photos:

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Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 2:35 AM
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The Melvin F. Luster House

Sidney Daniel Lyons was an early black entrepreneur in Oklahoma City.
He was one of the founders of what became the Deep Deuce district.

Deep Deuce was a thriving black district in the early segregated days of Oklahoma City.
It produced a few notable people such as Charlie Christian and Ralph Ellison.

Lyons' fortune originally came from a toiletries business he created that sold face powder, soaps, and perfume.
One of their big sellers was a hair tonic, invented by Lyons, called the "East India Hair Grower".


He manufactured these toiletry products from 1918 to 1935.
Later he purchased real estate and even entered the oil business.

He used his accumulated wealth to build a two-story brick mansion for his home in 1926.
Lyons died in 1942.
The property was passed on to his stepson Melvin Luster.

In 1983, the brick mansion gained a listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Melvin Luster died in 1993.
The property went downhill somewhat in the intervening years.

I wanted to post a photo of Sidney Lyons, but I could not find any.
Very strange.

Well, here are some photos of his historic house:


The house was placed on the market by the Luster family in 2016 for $1 million.
But there were no takers.
Apparently, the amount of rehab required did not make the numbers work for any interested developers.

OCURA (Urban Renewal) acquired the property in June 2019 for $700,000.
Their main goal was to make sure that the property was restored and not demolished, as some had feared it might be.

article: https://oklahoman.com/article/563126...-deuce-mansion

No word yet on what plans there are for the property.
It would make a nice bed and breakfast -- that's one idea.

Here are a few recent shots of restoration work on the building.


The main interest in this old house is the historic value.
It is one of the few remaining structures representing the black upper class of early OKC.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 3:31 PM
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I just recently posted that The Collective OKC opens on Monday (7-29-2019), which is true.
But they had a soft opening last night.

original: https://www.okctalk.com/attachment.p...4&d=1564058048

I think this place is going to do alright.

Ok, on to the main business...

A couple of new restaurants coming for the Plaza District.

Mexican Radio is a new Tex-mex restaurant serving tacos, appetizers, salads, and (one) dessert.
Beer, frozen margaritas, and certain cocktails also available.

Here's a shot of the renovation a few months back:

They are locating in the former home of Empire Slice House Pizza.



Empire moved a short distance down the street into a new, larger building:

Mexican Radio is nearly finished renovating and will open soon:


Another new restaurant for the Plaza District: New State Burgers & Spirits
This just opened last week.



Speaking of the Plaza District, here's a nice drone shot taken recently:

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Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 12:17 AM
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I always love a good before and after comparison of city locations.
Especially when the 'before' is from decades ago.

Here's a nice one, submitted by Ride OKC (they do bike tours of downtown).

This is in Bicentennial Park, right in front of the Civic Center Music Hall.
Straight ahead in the background is the Municipal Building (City Hall).

Now here's an older photo from nearly the same view point (a little closer to City Hall):

They don't provide a date for that one.
Based on clothing, cars... I'd venture sometime in the mid '40s... maybe 1945 or 1946.


Btw, the Hightower Building is still there.
A ten story parking garage built a couple of years ago pretty much hides it in the modern photo.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 12:50 AM
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Central Exchange

Nice article about the Central Exchange development from OKC Velocity magazine:

Central Exchange Developers Expect To Open Before Fall

This is next door to Parlor OKC, which will open (supposedly) sometime this summer.
They share a common pedestrian walkway between them.

Elevators and stairs were added to these old structures.
The basement was modified to allow more natural light in -- there will be sunken gardens placed there.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) did the architectural design.

First floor corridor:

The photo above shows some of the bricks saved from demolition on other parts of the building that were re-used for a corridor wall.

Other design decisions:
AHMM salvaged old lights from the buildings and were able to reuse them in the building.
The rooftop patio will have plenty of greenery, like the roof that hangs over the walkway between the two buildings.
A sun shade on the patio will move to make sure the sun is blocked at all hours of the day.
Second floor:

Orange Leaf and Studio Flight are the two companies that will take up the office space on the second floor.
Capital Tribune, developers of this project, will be occupying the basement.

The first and third floor are still available for tenants.
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Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 4:58 AM
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The Walcourt Apartments were built in 1927.


This was an upscale 12 room boarding house.
It boasted the latest modern features including Clow Gasteam radiators, Kelvinator refrigerators, and Kohler bathroom fixtures.
Each room had a fireplace with a Scheaffer mantel as well as walnut wood trim on all doors and windows.

larger (readable) version: http://www.abandonedok.com/wp-conten...spaper-lrg.jpg
source: http://www.abandonedok.com/the-walcourt-revisited/

the newspaper clipping boasted of its distinctive architecture:
Have you noticed that no two angles of the Walcourt are similar?
Doesn't its unique design, its very differentness fascinate you?
To Joe Davis, architect, goes the credit.
It fared well from the initial opening up to and through the 1950's.
But decline set in during the 1960's.

It finally closed in 1974.
It has been abandoned since then.


This is how it looked in 2014:


In the summer of 2017 it was purchased by Brent Swift, a local developer with a great track record for doing quality renovations.
Swift announced that he planned to restore it as living units -- six one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments.

Some cleanup of the structure started shortly afterward.

But Swift unexpectedly sold the property in December 2017 to Steve Morris.
A disappointment, though Morris is a solid property developer as well.

Morris decided to drop the apartment concept and go with commercial office space instead.

Nevertheless, all activity on the building stopped.
More than a year went by with no movement.

It even caught fire early this year (Feb 6, 2019) -- probably caused by an urban dweller.
Fortunately, no serious damage was done.
After this incident, the roof was re-decked.

Finally, just a few weeks ago, activity at the site began again.



Morris is working with preservation architect Catherine Montgomery to determine how best to fix and update the structure.
He is seeking tax credits from the State Historic Preservation Office to help offset the costs of the project.

The roof and exterior will be fully fixed and sealed before dealing with the interior.
Morris plans to wait until signing actual tenants before determing floor plans and proceding further.


I hope this goes well.
Though the building is in rough shape now, it has great bones.
It could be a real gem.

Last edited by Peerson; Jul 26, 2019 at 5:09 AM.
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Old Posted Jul 27, 2019, 2:47 PM
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Evening over the river


source: https://deskgram.net/p/2096927853878065606_670785384
photo by: Steve Johnson
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Old Posted Jul 27, 2019, 2:57 PM
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Excavation has begun on the site for the Convention Center garage:

source: https://twitter.com/dtOKCbuilds/stat...76392300683264


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Old Posted Jul 27, 2019, 6:09 PM
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Positive Tomorrows

Positive Tomorrows is a non-profit organization in Oklahoma City that provides assistance to homeless children.
They recently set out to build a new school in NW OKC to accomodate growing demand.

from the architect's description:
The 36,000 square-foot elementary school will have classrooms for Pre-K through 5th grade, art and music, special education, and outdoor learning opportunities.
The facility also has a secure entry vestibule, offices, family support services, meeting rooms, and additional rooms for clothing and donations.

Other features include a large, centrally located Commons area, Learning Stairs, an indoor/outdoor Library, a Maker Space, and Kitchen Lab.
Two of the classrooms double as storm shelters during severe weather.

At their current facility, they are helping 74 kids, which is about the limit.
With the new, larger facility they will be able to provide services to over 200 kids.

All funding is through private donations.


Construction for this started last fall.

Location is at 901 N. Villa:

This is situated next to the existing complex for NorthCare, which is a mental health clinic.
General Pershing Blvd is the long street near the bottom of the photo.


Construction shot from about a month ago:


Recent pics from MA+ Architecture:


Positive Tomorrows is the only private school in the USA with the sole purpose of educating homeless children.

website: https://www.positivetomorrows.org
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Old Posted Jul 27, 2019, 11:37 PM
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WRWA terminal expansion

Will Rogers World Airport has added a section to their website to cover the new terminal expansion.

url: https://flyokc.com/were-expanding

This goes into great detail about the coming changes ahead for the airport as a result of the terminal expansion.
  • Centralized Security Checkpoint
  • Improved Circulation of Passengers
  • Public Observation Lounge
  • Public Art
  • Future Custom Facilities
  • Concessions
  • Pet Area, etc...


Huge rendering (broken into two parts):

They have also set up a construction cam here:


A few shots from the cam today:

An old cargo building was recently demolished to make room for the new terminal gates.
They posted a time-lapse video of this on their facebook page:

video link: https://www.facebook.com/WillRogersW...686/?__tn__=-R

Last edited by Peerson; Jul 28, 2019 at 12:02 AM.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2019, 7:10 PM
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Omni Hotel -- now working on the foundation of the 12th floor:


Exterior panels are starting to be installed as well.

Since there are 17 floors total, this will probably top out in about 5 or 6 weeks.
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Old Posted Jul 29, 2019, 3:11 AM
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I came across a really cool photo from Kool Cats Photography



You don't often see the Omni Hotel tower crane from this perspective.
Heck, you can barely see the hotel at all, covered up by the convention center building from this angle.

In fact, a number of the perspectives seem unusual, but it could be that this was a telephoto lens "zoom in" shot.
Also, being on the down side of a hill is making farther off buildings on the other side of the hill seemingly sink down.
It makes for a cool effect for this photo, no doubt.

It also makes me think about Hubcap Alley, which is something I've never posted about.
So I think I'll do so now.
Warning: long post ahead (uh-oh )

The area along Robinson, south of the interstate, is known as Hubcap Alley.
And has been since about the 1940's.


Here's a couple of shots of this area from October 2012 (not that long ago):

The Devon Tower was brand spanking new (in fact, the interior wasn't quite finished yet).

This part of town was absolutely thick with various businesses related to auto repair & maintenance.
Auto parts, tires, wheels, paint shops, repair shops, and.... lots and lots of hubcaps.

Hence the name.

Hubcap alley was considered either an ugly eyesore or a charming example of urban grit, depending on your viewpoint.
It really did serve a useful service for the community.
You could find practically any auto part in existence, and most repair shops did their work for cheap.

When it was somewhat "tucked away" out of view, as it was for many decades... well, no problem.
But once the downtown area began to revitalize, then it became a problem.

Will Hider took some great shots of this area back in October 2012.
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/william...57631810716169
I'm going to use them for a quick tour.

Here's the "pink shack" that was evident in the first photo:



This is an auto paint shop called Jerry's Custom Paint Center.

Further down the road is the two-story brick "shell" of a building.



This was the 'Robinson Trading Post' many decades ago.


That building was going to be renovated as a private residence back in 2012.
The owners had the interior gutted.
But then nothing happened (don't know the story).
It's still gutted today.

Sign for Cusack Meats


Johnny's Hub Caps & Wheels


V & H Mufflers



"Hubcap Alley" Sign


When the city decided to create a new downtown park -- what is now called Scissortail Park -- Hubcap Alley met its fate.

Not wanting a dilapidated, gritty looking mess butted up right next to a shiny new park, the city set about buying up properties.
The lower section of the park, south of I-40, would cover pretty much all of the western part of Hubcap Alley.
All the buildings on the west side of Robinson were slated for demolition.

There was one hold out: Cusack Meats.

The owner absolutely did not want to sell... unless the city coughed up an outrageous amount.
They battled for awhile, and I think the city was threatening eminant domain.
But they ended up backing down. Cusack will keep his plot of land.

Here's what the lower section of Scissortail Park looks like.


It was meant to be one contiguous L-shaped area, but the Cusack Meats property took a rectangular chunk out of the plans.

Another view, with the old buildings still there:

Then the demolition began in October of last year:

In the last photo, you can just see the pink reflection of Jerry's Paint Center down the road.
And closer, the bright yellow of the V & H Mufflers building.


The lower section of Scissortail Park is set to open in 2021 -- two years after the upper section.
More about the lower park here: https://www.405magazine.com/Scissort...Plans-Released

Note that Hubcab Alley on the east side of Robinson is untouched.
It is still free to be developed.
At this time, though, there's not much sign of anything going on.

I think this will change, however.
When both sections of the park are completed, this area of town will naturally see more activity.
I could definitely see some gentrification occuring on the remaining (east) half of Hubcap Alley.
Although some might not like that either, if the old quality of the area is lost.

Last edited by Peerson; Sep 21, 2019 at 10:09 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 29, 2019, 1:59 PM
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Old Posted Jul 29, 2019, 11:23 PM
JoninATX JoninATX is offline
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Alot of prime real estate around Scissortail Park. Can't wait to see what the future holds.
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