View Full Version : Jim Brewer dies...

11-11-2008, 11:08 AM
Longtime Bricktown advocate Jim Brewer dies

Published: November 11, 2008

Jim Brewer, a life-long south Oklahoma City resident who helped transform a sleepy warehouse district into a regional entertainment destination, died about midnight Monday following a lengthy illness. He was 71.

Brewer was a successful oilman when he began buying properties in Bricktown in the mid-1980s when the original development by Neal Horton went bankrupt. Brewer proceeded to promote the area on the east fringe of downtown by opening a haunted warehouse each fall and hosting parades and festivals.

“Jim Brewer was passionate about Bricktown when there was nothing down here but a bunch of bricks and empty streets,” said Jim Cowan, director of the Bricktown Association. “He saw what was possible long before anybody else other than Neal Horton.”

11-11-2008, 11:10 AM
wow, how sad. Condolences to the family.

11-11-2008, 11:23 AM

What a major loss for Bricktown.

11-11-2008, 12:09 PM
Jim was a popular target for criticism in recent years, but without him Bricktown would never have gotten off the ground, at least as successfully and quickly as it did. Personally, I don't think we would have seen many if not most of the great things that have happened downtown - including MAPS and everything since - had Bricktown's emergence not reversed what was happening downtown. Maybe some revisionists disagree, but there was a time when Bricktown - and pretty much only Bricktown - provided a glimmer of hope for a sad, mostly broken city. He deserves to be remembered as someone who had, overall, a great positive influence on downtown - and the city in general - in that regard.

Sure, he might have been a bit rough-and-tumble in his business dealings at times, and like all of us surely had lapses in good judgment, but there was a time when his way was probably the only way things were going to get done. If nothing else, he should be remembered as someone who got things done, and had a tremendous, genuine passion for Bricktown. Perhaps Bricktown has moved beyond his particular style, but that doesn't diminish what he accomplished during the infancy of downtown's rebirth.

And for a few people who never got crossways with him (myself included) he'll also be thought of as a guy who could be very generous at times, and who occasionally let a pretty big heart peek out from behind the gruff exterior.

To quote Teddy Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
RIP, Jim.

11-17-2008, 01:25 PM
He got a lot of flack on the parking issue, some deserved and some not. But he did a lot for Bricktown, and if it weren't for him, we wouldn't have any of the Festivals, the Coca Cola Events Center, the Bricktown Ballroom, or the Haunted Warehouse. I hope his successors keep these things going.