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  1. #1

    Film Exchange International Crystal

    Local developer plans to renovate former crystal buildings in Film Row

    Eric Fleske of Norman has placed the old International Crystal properties in Film Row under contract for purchase and has submitted plans to renovate the historic structures.

    Before closing its operations earlier this year, International Crystal occupied the pair of ornate Art Deco structures each built in 1930: a 13,750 square foot building at 623 through 639 Sheridan and a 5,600 square foot office building at 10 N. Lee.

    The design plans drawn by Phase One Design show bringing storefronts along the Sheridan frontage similar to what has been done in several formerly light industrial buildings along the south side of the street.

    The future owners intend to maintain the historic looks of the buildings while updating the windows and storefront glazing in the hopes of attracting new businesses and clientele.

    The office building on Lee would remain as professional offices being serviced by an adjacent parking lot, also to be purchased and renovated with new paving and decorative fencing.

    Under the plan, the alley between the two buildings would be closed and the delapidated windows would be salvaged with new units replacing them.

    The project would be yet another addition to the area which is now home to the 21c Museum Hotel and Jones Assembly to the west, surrounded by the West Village apartment and commercial project well under construction.

    Fleske is part owner of Equity Realty in Norman, which owns, develops and leases dozens of commercial properties.

  2. Default Re: International Crystal

    Awesome news! I've always thought these buildings (especially the one on the corner) had a lot of promise and had been wondering why nothing had been done with them yet.

  3. #3

    Default Re: International Crystal

    The occupancy rates in Film Row are very high. I don't think there are any vacant storefronts along Sheridan.

    Looking forward to this key corner being refreshed and coming back to life.

  4. #4

    Default Re: International Crystal

    Back in the late 50s, International Crystal's offices were at 12-1/2 N Lee, a rather rundown walkup. Their actual plant was across the street in the old Video Theaters building, but it bore absolutely no external signs indicating what went on inside or who was in charge.

    The company founder, Royden Freeland, was an interesting fellow. I interviewed him for an article that I sold to "Popular Electronics" around 1959; he and a partner started as brokers peddling war-surplus quartz-crystal devices, used to maintain radio equipment on fixed frequency, and expanded to manufacturing the devices to order. He absolutely refused to deal with government contracts, although the FAA center was potentially one of the largest possible customers. Cash on placing a custom order was his firm policy. He steadfastly refused to consider allowing unions into his organization. And he was, more than any other single individual, responsible for the CB-radio craze that swept the nation in the 70s and 80s. He provided a leading hobby-electronics writer, Don Lancaster, free parts with which to create a CB transceiver shortly after the FCC created the service. Lancaster developed the design, which was published as a cover article in "Electronics World," and International Crystal launched a major ad campaign to sell the resulting kit. That snowballed when long-distance truckers adopted its use.

    He deliberately kept his company out of the limelight locally. He did not want to reveal the scope of its operations and attract attention from labor organizers. National attention in the electronics industry was quite acceptable, so long as I didn't reveal the office location, number of employees, or any sales figures.

    Royden and his wife died tragically when their Aero Commander exploded in the air just a few minutes after takeoff from Wiley Post, en route to Las Vegas. So far as I know, no cause was ever discovered.
    Last edited by Jim Kyle; 09-02-2017 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Added some more detail.

  5. #5

    Default Re: International Crystal

    Property sale was just closed for $2.6 million.

  6. #6

    Default Re: International Crystal

    They've replaced most the windows and have cleaned out the inside.

  7. #7

    Default Re: International Crystal

    Beautiful. I always knew it would be.

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