View Full Version : Favorite OKC Building

07-25-2004, 08:26 PM
What's your favorite OKC building, and why? This has changed for me the past few years, and will probably change again. For awhile, mine was First National Center with its detailed Art Deco stylings. Our own Empire State Building. I've always loved driving on I-40 and seeing it uplit at night.

Then when I worked downtown, I admired the adaptive re-use of the Robinson Renaissance building (formerly the Perrine Building). The way its central wall of glass hovers above the original stone exterior is stunning. Its lower level food court boasts one of OKC's most lively lunch scenes. For the same blend of old and new, I like the Civic Center.

But for now, my favorite is the Bricktown Ballpark. Its historic design, taken from the Delmar Gardens park (now the fairgrounds) from the early 20th C gives it native character. The playful details, such as the exterior base signage to the photos of Oklahoma baseball teams of yesteryear, to the painted letters of the men's and women's restrooms, make it a fun place. And the way its exterior is situated, spilling out into Bricktown and Lower Bricktown, with the murals and statues of legends, make it an example of thoughtful, pedestrian-friendly urban design. It still is to me the crown jewel of the first nine MAPS projects. We were lucky it was the first. It is already a classic.

07-26-2004, 07:15 PM
Oklahoma Tower in downtown OKC.

Although I wish it were about 20 storeys taller, it is the most modern looking skyscraper in the city - if not the state!

Oklahoma Tower looks very similar to Two Union Square building in downtown Seattle! Also somewhat similar to downtown Vancouver's Wall Centre tower.

Wall Centre, Vancouver BC:
Two Union Square, Seattle:
Oklahoma Tower, Oklahoma City:

Very nice page for Oklahoma City here :D :

07-26-2004, 10:12 PM
Hey floater, I guess I'm not familiar with Delmar Gardens. Where and what was it?

Hot Rod.....I will say one thing for sure.....Oklahoma Tower definitely adds color to our skyline. That bluish gray color contrasts nicely with the other colors downtown. And the new library (similar colors) fits very nicely right next to it! The back side (south) of the new library looks pretty unattractive though....I'll be glad to see the new Galleria parking garage built to cover that up! The front of the library looks wonderful though.

Some have said before that our downtown look bland, but I really disagree with that. Seems to me like the colors contrast well. Oklahoma Tower is nice bluish/gray color, Kerr McGee is brown/sand color, Chase Tower is all dark black glass, City Place is kind of a tan and dark brown mix, First National is slate gray, Devon is a dark gray, Leadership Square is a nice shiny glass, Renaissance is an off white color with blue tents, the Skirvin has nice deep red brick. Etc. Contrast that with Tulsa's skyline, which seems to be dominated by white and gray buildings mostly.

Hmmmm. I suppose I have to pick a building. Well, I guess I like Leadership Square, just because of it's unique stair step design! It really contrasts with some of the more box-shaped buildings around it. I guess second I'd pick the Skirvin, just because of its historic'll find nothing like it anywhere! And no building will ever be constructed like that again. It's one of a kind. I know Tulsans marvel over the has unique architecture, but I think the Skirvin beats it in design!

07-26-2004, 10:27 PM
My favorite Oklahoma City building is Leadership Square. Like I pointed out in another post, I met the architect who designed this building. It was originally supposed to be one single 60-story tower. However, the developers were looking for a different concept... more of a "Square" type concept, with a large glass lobby. So, Mr. Roloff split the building in two. The glass-encased near-twin office towers are the most unique in the entire state, with its stair-case look. Leadership Square was also the first in the state and the southwest to have an modern outdoor sculpture.

I'll have to say my second favorite is Oklahoma Tower. I know it's modern architecture but everyone I know from out of state is always impressed with Oklahoma City's skyline when they see modern architecture such as Leadership Square and Oklahoma Tower. It gives a very cosmopolitan feel to our skyline, as well as shape and form. Did all of you know that Oklahoma Tower is the tallest six-sided building in Oklahoma?

My third favorite is First National Tower. It's beautiful art deco is definitely an icon among Oklahoma's skyscrapers... with that resemblance of the Empire State Building. In fact, during the skyscraper race of 1931 here in OKC, Starrett Corporation- the same construction company that built the Empire State Building- built the Ramsey Tower, now City Place. It would have been ironic to see a construction comany built two resembling towers at about the same time. The reason why First National is third on my list is because of reasons previously explained on this forum... bad owners with no ambition and will or creativity to restore the tower to Class A office space or upscale apartments. The building- as a result of their irresponsibility- is showing its age, and is beginning to look shabby. If the owners keep this up, First National Tower will wind up as another Skirvin situation... closed for sixteen years before someone comes up with a lot of dough to get things going again. Or, First National will face the same fate of the Biltmore- demolition. And we will lose a true architectural gem as well as a legend and familiar point of interest.

My last favorite Oklahoma City tower is... The Tower, formerly known as the Bank IV Tower. The building is actually going to be remodeled by its new owners. It towers above northwest Oklahoma City, with its glass body extending out on the bottom and then receding back to the frame near the roof. Also, I'm not sure, but I remember someone who worked in the building saying that The Tower has a helicopter pad on the roof. That is, of course, an unconfirmed fact, as it's obviously never been used as long as I've been around if a helipad IS there.

07-27-2004, 05:06 PM
Delmar Gardens was one of OKC's first amusement parks, one of whose components was a baseball field. Flooding from the river and mosquitoes forced the park to close down. Thanks to ADG for basing the Brick's Third Base entry on it!!

07-27-2004, 05:29 PM
I like ultramodern buildings, so, my favorite downtown is Leadership Square. :D

07-27-2004, 06:23 PM
Hey floater, I didn't realize that. Thanks for the info. I'll definitely check out third base side next time I go by the Brick!!!