View Full Version : The Park-O-Tell



Doug Loudenback
04-09-2010, 05:37 PM
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/misc/parkotell_3s.jpg

Anyone remember the Park-O-Tell, north of the state capitol on Lincoln, about a block north of Beverly's Chicken-In-The-Rough? Though I didn't live in Oklahoma City during my high school years, I spent time there and remember it well, it being the scene of some great shaving-cream fights in-and-out-of the rooms there when my Lawton High School debate team stayed there during visits to the city between 1959-1961.

One of my initial blog posts in 2006 has just been majorly updated, prompted by queries from a guy from New York City who used the Park-O-Tell when teaching students "English as a Second Language" way up there in NYC. Why this piece of OKC was chosen, I don't know. His students wondered about several things ... including, as he said,


They did have more than one room, didn't they?

Since you're familiar with the interior: Were the rooms upstairs? Was the garage on the first floor or underneath? Did you drive up to the reception desk like at the drive-thru at McDonalds? What building is there now? ...
You might think those are ridiculous questions, but I had used this postcard in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class a couple of years ago and those are some of the questions I was asked.

Thanks to the New Yorker guy who was interested in this piece of Oklahoma City history, I was encouraged to do more research than I did when the initial post was made in July 2006.

The updated article is here: Doug Dawgz Blog: North on Lincoln: The Park-O-Tell (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2006/07/north-on-lincoln-park-o-tell.html)

MikeOKC
04-09-2010, 05:55 PM
God, you're good, very interesting. I remember the Park-O-Tell well. Here's an interesting perspective, albeit a poor quality image.

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/9885/april15.jpg

USG '60
04-10-2010, 10:48 AM
Wasn't there a parking garage downtown named Park-o-tel that was torn down by urban renewal?

MikeOKC
04-10-2010, 11:35 AM
Just a clarification. I said I remembered the Park-O-Tell well. I don't actually remember it as a working motel !!!! :Smiley093 I remember the cool adobe building and knew a little of the history. When did they raze it Doug?

MikeOKC
04-10-2010, 11:40 AM
Wasn't there a parking garage downtown named Park-o-tel that was torn down by urban renewal?

Was that garage a Park-O-Tel or a Park-O-Matic? I think the building is still there with the old signage painted on the side of the building. It was Park-O-Something though. It had lifts that took your car to the right floor. Are we talking about the same place?

USG '60
04-10-2010, 12:04 PM
Was that garage a Park-O-Tel or a Park-O-Matic? I think the building is still there with the old signage painted on the side of the building. It was Park-O-Something though. It had lifts that took your car to the right floor. Are we talking about the same place?

I believe we are. It seems like it was across the street east of the Hales but I'm not sure. Where is the building you are talking about, Doug?

Doug Loudenback
04-10-2010, 07:44 PM
I'll try to clarify from what I know:

First, there was only one "Park-O-Tell" which was ever described by that name. Although its owner aspired to connect a chain of same-named motels north to Wichita and south into Texas, I've found no evidence that the aspirations were ever attempted. The only Park-O-Tell that I know of was located north of the state capitol building on Lincoln as I have described.

Second, as far as downtown parking garages were concerned, there were only two that match the general time-frame and neither of which had anyting to do with the Park-O-Tell: (a) On Hudson, immediately north of the Black Hotel (1 North Hudson today), the 1st downtown parking garage was built and it still stands; (b) Very soon thereafter, on Park Avenue (1st Street then), the Auto-Garage was built and existed until 1st National absorbed it and then demolished it and eventually constructed its east-most addition to the 1st National Center.

As to when the Park-O-Tell met its demise, I've not found an exact date. But, that date would coincide with the expansion of Lincoln Blvd. to circumvent the capitol ... in the early-mid 1960s, I think ... the same time that the main Beverly's was absorbed into the capital complex.

Jim Kyle
04-13-2010, 12:22 PM
Doug, I believe that the auto garage on Park Avenue also had an entrance off of Main Street itself, between Broadway and Robinson on the north side of the street, where Pettee's Hardware and the original Veazey Drug had been -- or possibly that was a second elevator-operated garage, in the late 50s and early 60s. Yet another multi-level garage was at the Terminal Building on Grand (now Sheridan), where the old street-car terminal was located. I used that one often in the very late 50s...

Prunepicker
04-14-2010, 10:19 PM
There was a parking garage on Main Street across the street from the
Criterion Theater. Like everything else, it was destroyed in the Pei Plan.