View Full Version : Myriad Gardens



Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

warreng88
10-09-2009, 07:51 AM
http://www.okctalk.com/images/wikiphotos/myriadgardens1.jpg
Information &Latest News
Links
Myriad Gardens Website (http://www.myriadgardens.org/)
Doug Loudenback History Article (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2008/03/myriad-gardens.html)
Gallery

Steve
10-09-2009, 08:19 AM
Oklahoma City's Myriad Gardens to receive makeover

Devon CEO builds on legacy of Dean A. McGee in efforts to develop downtown Oklahoma City

BY STEVE LACKMEYER
Published: October 9, 2009

Larry Nichols can show a visitor just about everything that’s right — and wrong — at the Myriad Gardens.

But unlike others who have yearned to make improvements at the downtown attraction, Nichols is helping launch a $35 million fulfillment of a public wish list that will add a restaurant, cafe, kiosks for renting model boats and bicycles, a children’s play area, an ice skating rink and what he hopes will become an iconic amphitheater and grand lawn.

Read the full article at:

NewsOK (http://newsok.com/oklahoma-citys-myriad-gardens-to-receive-makeover/article/3407521?custom_click=lead_story_title)



thanks Warren. FYI - the paper did a beautiful large display of what I consider to be the best rendering of the project. This may be a day where you may want to pick up a copy of the paper rather than just going to NewsOK. A computer screen can't capture this image like the paper did.

mugofbeer
10-09-2009, 08:30 AM
Very cool! Why did they build it with the berm? To keep the wind down?

Steve
10-09-2009, 08:32 AM
The berms actually were much more pronounced with a steel wall facing the streets when it was first built. I'm not sure, Frittergirl may know better, but yes, I suspect the idea was to combat the wind.

Decious
10-09-2009, 08:33 AM
Wow! Very cool. Thanks Steve. :congrats:

FritterGirl
10-09-2009, 08:48 AM
The berms actually were much more pronounced with a steel wall facing the streets when it was first built. I'm not sure, Frittergirl may know better, but yes, I suspect the idea was to combat the wind.

Partially true!

The real intent of the berms was to create a sense of intimacy and quiet within the Gardens by cutting down on traffic noise. The original berms as constructed in 1977 were higher than they are now, but were deemed too high and were cut down circa 1980-80.

There will still be some berm structures in the new plans, but they will be greatly diminished overall, allowing for more street views and entry points throughout the Gardens. In addition, much of the curbing along the outside of the Gardens will be removed (particularly on the West side), allowing for completely open access from the Festival plaza area and Hudson.

As Steve very deftly pointed out in the article, the steering committee is working very hard to create a balance between creating a fully-realized "park" while maintaining the heavy botanical elements found in a traditional botanical gardens.

For all intents and purposes, we will continue to brand this as a Gardens - in fact, will play up the "Gardens" theme in our future branding and marketing. There will also be no name change as has earlier been mentioned. The Myriad Botanical Gardens will remain the Myriad Botanical Gardens.

A few points of clarification regarding the article:

Dog Park:This will NOT be a dog park in the traditional sense, a la PAW Park at Lake Hefner, which spans several acres and has its own large/small dog enclosures. This will be a smaller, enclosed dog relief area with its own unique entry point. It will be available to visitors who need a space for dogs to take care of business and get a bit of exercise. There is still ongoing discussion as to whether dogs will be allowed in the remainder of the Gardens.

Childrens' Area: While the area will have what can be deemed as "traditional" play elements, the intent of this area is to create a botanical discovery or sensory garden, where children can learn about the natural world and ecology. See the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (http://www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org/kids/kids_map.html) for an idea of the general concepts under consideration. (They also have a really cool website!)

Keep in mind, what is being presented at this juncture are concepts and ideas that the committee has agreed upon. Several details of these structures are still under discussion. Final plans will not be realized for several more weeks.

And for the love of all things sacred, please don't call the Crystal Bridge "the TUBE!!!!!!!!" :smile:

Steve
10-09-2009, 09:09 AM
Fritter, tube was used in quotes by Larry. Can't help that.

FritterGirl
10-09-2009, 09:21 AM
Fritter, tube was used in quotes by Larry. Can't help that.

I know - but others call it that, as well. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

Getting really good feedback on the article. Glad everyone is excited. Great job, thanks!

metro
10-09-2009, 09:37 AM
http://photos.newsok.com/2/showimage/723206/gallery_photo
Plans call for a fountain, children’s area and cafe to be located by the water stage in the southwest corner of the Myriad Gardens. Rendering by The Office of James Burnett

http://photos.newsok.com/2/showimage/723208/gallery_photo
Plans for the Myriad Gardens makeover include a new south grand entryway facing Reno Avenue where there is an unsightly parking lot and loading area.Provided by Oklahoma City Parks Department

http://photos.newsok.com/2/showimage/723209/gallery_photo
A view of the planned water plaza outside that will be converted into an ice rink every winter. Provided by Oklahoma City Parks Department

http://photos.newsok.com/2/showimage/723211/gallery_photo
Plans call for a water plaza to be built in front of a restaurant in that will be converted into an ice rink every winter. Rendering by The Office of James Burnett

http://photos.newsok.com/2/showimage/723212/gallery_photo
Fireworks explode over an amphitheater and grand lawn to be added to the Myriad Gardens with a new Devon tower shown to the left. Rendering by The Office of James Burnett

http://blog.newsok.com/okccentral/files/2009/10/gardens-aerial.JPG
Aerial of park (courtesy of OKC Central) - notice Devon Tower

metro
10-09-2009, 09:38 AM
If all stays on track, by 2014, we WILL be a first class, Tier 2 City.

kevinpate
10-09-2009, 09:42 AM
sweet!

okcpulse
10-09-2009, 10:00 AM
thanks Warren. FYI - the paper did a beautiful large display of what I consider to be the best rendering of the project. This may be a day where you may want to pick up a copy of the paper rather than just going to NewsOK. A computer screen can't capture this image like the paper did.

I'll just have to have the relatives mail me a paper copy :( Steve, let me know of a good time to talk. I know you're busy (we both are), so whenever is most convenient for you.

warreng88
10-09-2009, 10:47 AM
Steve, any clue as to where Shakespeare in the Park is going to be held or will it be cancelled next year?

Steve
10-09-2009, 12:55 PM
Good question on Shakespeare - I'll ask. OKC Pulse, sorry I've not been available. Can you call me 4:30 p.m. cst today?

okcpulse
10-09-2009, 01:14 PM
Good question on Shakespeare - I'll ask. OKC Pulse, sorry I've not been available. Can you call me 4:30 p.m. cst today?

That's quite alright, Steve. I'll be in transit when 4:30PM rolls around, but I will still give you a call. Don't worry, I take the bus :) Can you PM your number as I have a new cell phone and none of my contacts.

I leave work at 4PM and I arrive at my house at almost 6PM. Gotta love Houston traffic!

metro
10-09-2009, 01:27 PM
Good question on Shakespeare - I'll ask. OKC Pulse, sorry I've not been available. Can you call me 4:30 p.m. cst today?

Just to clarify, Houston and OKC have the same time zone........:sofa: I kid, I kid.

Steve
10-09-2009, 03:28 PM
I thought OKCPulse was living in the west coast, not Houston. I was wrong.

metro
10-09-2009, 03:32 PM
Steve, no harm intended, just being onry.

Steve
10-09-2009, 03:40 PM
That's cool. It seems like there are few big time OKC boosters on this site living in Seattle and I had it in my head OKC Pulse was one of them.

PennyQuilts
10-09-2009, 06:20 PM
I'm very excited about this. I am so proud of OKC.

rondvu
10-09-2009, 06:57 PM
I love the proposed ideas. I can't wait to see the new and improved gardens. It keeps getting better and better.

jbrown84
10-09-2009, 08:33 PM
I love the redesign. I had a sneak peek at a detailed map several weeks ago and I think it will be a tremendous improvement. And it will be done very soon!

TaurusNYC
10-11-2009, 04:11 PM
So now the Myriad Gardens are going to have everything that was supposed to go in the new Central Park: Fountains, pool, skating rink, children's area, great lawn, amphitheater, and restaurants. Won't the Central Park just be redundant? Why not make the Myriad Gardens a garden and leave all the other stuff for the Central Park? Will Maps 3 be a harder sell if the public sees that all those amenities promised for the new park will already be incorporated in the Myriad Gardens?

betts
10-11-2009, 04:46 PM
So now the Myriad Gardens are going to have everything that was supposed to go in the new Central Park: Fountains, pool, skating rink, children's area, great lawn, amphitheater, and restaurants. Won't the Central Park just be redundant? Why not make the Myriad Gardens a garden and leave all the other stuff for the Central Park? Will Maps 3 be a harder sell if the public sees that all those amenities promised for the new park will already be incorporated in the Myriad Gardens?

As someone who would rather see the new park as a grand swath of land without a lot of amenities, I'm all for putting all the "stuff" in the Myriad Gardens and leaving the big park similar to Central Park. But, there will be a big pond, and Union Station will be a destination spot, I'm sure. I would guess there will be other amenities as well. It's hard to have too many fountains. We still haven't seen the master plan for the park and perhaps will not unless MAPS passes, as maybe the city has only paid for a less detailed plan until they know they need a more comprehensive one.

kevinpate
10-11-2009, 05:34 PM
Also, are things being shifted, or is the overall park space seen as ample enough to have similar features in both

ronronnie1
10-11-2009, 06:12 PM
I want to know if the glass, tubular bridge designed my IM Pei has a placard commemorating him or not? If it does, I say remove it and throw it in the dumpster. Now THAT would be a nice makeover for the gardens.

Steve
10-11-2009, 06:48 PM
Your judgment of I.M. Pei, while understood, may also involve some classic mythology over what he did and didn't do. He's often blamed for the worst sins of Urban Renewal. But truth be told, there are some things he had no involvement with: the destruction of the Huckins and Biltmore hotels were not his ideas. Further, city leaders ignored his warning not to tear out Main Street without having a new home for retail established first.
As for the gardens... I.M. Pei designed the concept, but actual architectural work was done by Conklin & Rossant

jbrown84
10-11-2009, 09:18 PM
So now the Myriad Gardens are going to have everything that was supposed to go in the new Central Park: Fountains, pool, skating rink, children's area, great lawn, amphitheater, and restaurants. Won't the Central Park just be redundant? Why not make the Myriad Gardens a garden and leave all the other stuff for the Central Park? Will Maps 3 be a harder sell if the public sees that all those amenities promised for the new park will already be incorporated in the Myriad Gardens?

What, so we can't have fountains in more than one park??

A lot of elements were suggested for the new central park--a lot more than could possibly fit in it. Putting some of them in the Myriad Gardens is a good idea. I doubt there will be redundancies, except maybe a grand lawn type thing.

Larry OKC
10-12-2009, 12:48 AM
Understand the redundancy point, and it may be valid to some extent (at least regarding perception to some voters...that is something that will have to be overcome by the "education" of the voters). Heck, there are some that think the MAPS 3 park and the Myriad Gardens are the same thing anyway (or at least connected, but they are separated by a City block). Even if some elements are redundant, think it will be more of a scale issue than anything else (for example, Myriad "grand lawn" is more intimate at 5,000 while the MAPS 3 one is 15,000 or 50,000 (not sure which number is right, both are stuck in my head and can't locate the source that said...anyone have info?).

metro
10-12-2009, 09:39 AM
Another new photo, courtesy of Steve's OKC Central blog:

http://blog.newsok.com/okccentral/files/2009/10/grandlawn.JPG

CrimsonOberon
10-13-2009, 05:02 PM
Another new photo, courtesy of Steve's OKC Central blog:

http://blog.newsok.com/okccentral/files/2009/10/grandlawn.JPG

If all this turns out the way it has been drawn up, I anticipate many, many walks along the Garden sidewalks.

bombermwc
10-14-2009, 07:30 AM
I hope it's not that flat though. There needs to be some topography to the park. Otherwise that much space is going to be windy as hell.

betts
10-14-2009, 08:38 AM
I hope it's not that flat though. There needs to be some topography to the park. Otherwise that much space is going to be windy as hell.

It is true that the wind in the summer is usually from the south (I think). But, I'd rather have a little wind than have the park hidden from view by faux Native American burial mounds. This is the only part of the country I've ever lived in that creates terrain, and landscapers around here could use a lesson in natural terrain. I think the berm concept has to go.

Pete
10-15-2009, 06:03 PM
Here's that large rendering from the paper that Steve mentioned:

http://digital.newsok.com/Olive/ODE/Oklahoman/server/GetContent.asp?contentsrc=primitive&dochref=DOK%2F2009%2F10%2F09&entityid=Pc01703&pageno=17&chunkid=Pc01703&pagelabel=1B&repformat=1.0&primid=Pc0170300&imgext=jpg&currentpublicationname=DOK&type=Content&for=primitive

Steve
10-15-2009, 08:49 PM
Pete, I was thrilled for readers when I opened the paper that morning and saw it blown up to half the page... I have a great, great editor. The best in all my 20 years at the paper.

phinzup
10-18-2009, 01:53 PM
Partially true!


And for the love of all things sacred, please don't call the Crystal Bridge "the TUBE!!!!!!!!" :smile:

For my money, calling it the "tube' is being very nice. Never been in it, never will be in it. Too many historical properties were destroyed so we could have a tube!

Urban renewal was a disaster, IMO.

kevinpate
10-18-2009, 02:13 PM
but, but, but, it's a really nice tube!

And it's lovely inside the tube too.

All hail the tube!

Hmmm, wonder if Steve could finagle a second webcam and mount it on the tiipytop of the north end of the tube once the risers start going up across the way.

Steve
10-18-2009, 02:23 PM
Over the past few weeks it seems as if I've spent more time negotiating and finding solutions, etc., in regard to a webcam than actual reporting. I promise all of you, I know what you want, I want the same thing, and I'm doing everything possible to make it happen.

Patrick
10-18-2009, 04:41 PM
For my money, calling it the "tube' is being very nice. Never been in it, never will be in it. Too many historical properties were destroyed so we could have a tube!

Urban renewal was a disaster, IMO.
In all honesty, the Crystal Bridge is a pretty nice facility and one of the city's better tourist attractions. And in all honesty most of the structures that were where Myriad Gardens is now weren't very significant. Urban Renewal had its negatives but it wasn't all bad. A lot of the structures removed by Urban Renewal were pretty blighted at the end of their lives. All people seem to remember is what these structures were like in their hey day. Take The Criterion Theatre for example, it may had been nice at one time (those are the only pictures most see of it) but when it was removed it was pretty run down and deteriorating. Just look at the shape the Belle Isle Powerplant was in when it was removed. Many downtown buildings were in similar conditions.

ronronnie1
10-18-2009, 04:42 PM
For my money, calling it the "tube' is being very nice. Never been in it, never will be in it. Too many historical properties were destroyed so we could have a tube!

Urban renewal was a disaster, IMO.

Yes, I'd much rather have the Biltmore highrise and that whole block of buildings back then have that stupid tube thing.

Pete
10-18-2009, 05:18 PM
The Biltmore would have made a great condo conversion with awesome views.

Rover
10-18-2009, 05:21 PM
There was no demand (paying demand) that made economic sense to retrofit the Biltmore. That street and area had gotten really seedy with some flop houses and vacant buildings. Biltmore was not well used for its last 15-20 years of its life.

It is easy to want things to be preserved, but someone has to pay for it. You can't MAKE the owners do it and we see how people don't want the city to pay for anything.

Steve
10-18-2009, 06:21 PM
For my money, calling it the "tube' is being very nice. Never been in it, never will be in it. Too many historical properties were destroyed so we could have a tube!

Urban renewal was a disaster, IMO.

Forgive me, but this is a comment that falls more into urban mythology than factual history. I don't blame you for thinking this - it's what I was raised to believe as well.
Many sins can be pinned to the legacy of Urban Renewal - the destruction of the Baum Building, the Warner theater and Criterion were needless travesties where structures of far less consequence were built in their place.
BUT.....
I don't know of any significant historic properties torn down to make way for the Myriad Gardens. The only truly historic property on that block was the Biltmore (the rest of it was low-rise used furniture stores and pawn shops). Drawings by I.M. Pei called for the Biltmore to be an integral part of the gardens. You can see evidence of this in my book OKC Second Time Around. The Biltmore was a victim of being owned by out-of-state interests who gave up on it being a viable ongoing business.
After much research into this matter, I will tell you that even today renovation of such a structure, with low floor to ceiling heights and reinforced concrete construction, would be very very daunting and expensive. And should it have survived, I could argue the odds would have higher against the Skirvin being revived (split up resources, the Skirvin wouldn't have been so unique, etc).
I say all this to argue the following: the Crystal Bridge, in my opinion as a historian of downtown, is one of Urban Renewal's triumphs, and not a failure. I don't think it's fair to let Urban Renewal's sins cast a shadow on this iconic landmark's legacy or its long-term potential.

ronronnie1
10-18-2009, 06:24 PM
I understand what you're saying, Rover, I just don't totally agree. I read somewhere (sorry, can't cite, so sue me) but they actually considered tearing down First National Tower some years ago. It was/is obsolete, but the answer is never to just tear stuff down that is so architectually important to the city. OKcity was set back 50 years architecturally because of Urban Renewal. I mean come on... even the Skirvin was threatened by the wrecking ball. And yes, you can prevent the owners from tearing down historic buildings. Historically significant structures "belong" to the city, not the individual owners. Short sightedness is why downtown OKcity is filled with swaths of surface parking lots instead of revamped, beautiful, historic buildings.

ronronnie1
10-18-2009, 06:26 PM
...Steve is right. I saw drawing of the Pei Plan, and the Biltmore was still clearly included in that plan.

Steve
10-18-2009, 06:29 PM
Ironically Doug has more of the renderings from my book scanned in than I do, so maybe he'll post it.

Steve
10-18-2009, 06:33 PM
I understand what you're saying, Rover, I just don't totally agree. I read somewhere (sorry, can't cite, so sue me) but they actually considered tearing down First National Tower some years ago. It was/is obsolete, but the answer is never to just tear stuff down that is so architectually important to the city. OKcity was set back 50 years architecturally because of Urban Renewal. I mean come on... even the Skirvin was threatened by the wrecking ball. And yes, you can prevent the owners from tearing down historic buildings. Historically significant structures "belong" to the city, not the individual owners. Short sightedness is why downtown OKcity is filled with swaths of surface parking lots instead of revamped, beautiful, historic buildings.


I know of no consideration at any point to tear down First National Tower... but... properties that were eyed include Robinson Renassiance, the Colcord and the Skirvin.

jbrown84
10-18-2009, 09:46 PM
Here's that large rendering from the paper that Steve mentioned:



The location of the Tower relative to the Colcord is WAY off in that drawing. I'm not sure if the Tower is in the wrong place or if the Colcord is rendered too small/too far away.

Doug Loudenback
10-19-2009, 01:32 AM
The items below are contained in this March 2008 blog article at Doug Dawgz Blog: Myriad Gardens (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2008/03/myriad-gardens.html) and/or in this Okc Postcards article, Doug Dawgz Blog: OKC Postcards (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2008/04/okc-postcards.html) ...

When officially announced in 1972, a June 2 Oklahoma Journal ran this article:


$17 Million People's Park Plan Unveiled

Perhaps the most imaginative dream for a people's park in the heart of a large American city was unveiled Thursday as the plan for Oklahoma City's Myriad Gardens. Local officials say they hope to reach for the stars and have most of the park finished by 1976.
* * *
Everything from a children's zoo to an ice skating pond and including a 30 foot deep canyon, a two-acre lake, botanical gardens, a sports hall of fame, a classic car museum, arts and science centers, a planetarium, a cluster of restaurants and movie houses, museums and a new Main Library for Oklahoma City is included in the Gardens plan.
* * *
A Phase Two plan for the gardens will extend east to Shartel and triple the park's size to a total of 33 acres.

The image which accompanied the article showed the Gardens as looking like this:

Click on images below for larger

As it appeared in Oklahoma Journal

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/oklajournal_6_2_1972s.jpg (http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/oklajournal_6_2_1972.jpg)

My colorized image

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/oklajournal_6_2_1972_colors.jpg (http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/oklajournal_6_2_1972_color.jpg)

Of course, it didn't turn out that way. The money wasn't there to do it. But, as you can see, both the Biltmore Hotel (shown as Hotel Oklahoma) and the Tivoli Inn (originally, the Oklahoma Club but renamed by a new owner to match what was earlier thought to become the garden's original name, the Oklahoma Tivoli Gardens) were marked for preservation.

Among other things that didn't happen with the plan, note the location of a new downtown library in the southwest corner.

The Oklahoma Club/Tivoli Inn (if preserved, better it would be were it shorn of its false exterior that the new owner put on it) was also a building worth preserving, in my opinion.

Click on the image for a larger view...

The 1922 Oklahoma Club Building from Vanished Splendor (I)

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/hotels/oklahomaclub01s_vsp.jpg (http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/hotels/oklahomaclub01_vsp.jpg)

It was sold in 1961-1962 or so. Below is an ad from a 1961 Oklahoman:

Larger image not available

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/hotels/oklahomaclub02.jpg

The image below is from the County Assessor's website, showing the changes made by the new owner:

Larger image not available

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/hotels/tivoliinn_coas.jpg

Inside the botanical tube on the north end, 1st level, is a meeting and history area where photographs and other stuff show historical developments. I took the photo below of a photo displayed there, and, at that time, the Tivoli Inn was still in place, although the Biltmore was gone.

Click on image for larger

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/workbegins2s.jpg (http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/workbegins2.jpg)

Another photo in the history area in the Botanical tube is the 1960 downtown aerial shown below ... look closely and you'll see a gold border which marks off the then proposed park ...

Click on image for larger or click here for MUCH larger (http://www.dougloudenback.com/downtown/downtownaerial1960large.jpg) (it may not open in Firefox for reasons I don't know) ...


http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/downtownaerial1960s.jpg (http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/downtownaerial1960.jpg)

A cropped portion of the above which focuses on the gardens area is shown below ... click on image for larger ...

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/downtownaerial1960_crops.jpg (http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/myriadgardens/downtownaerial1960_crop.jpg)

The Miller Brothers Dept. Store/Goodholm Building/Sears & Roebuck. On the west side of the Biltmore Hotel, nearer Hudson, another building I would regard as worth having been saved is shown. I'm uncertain about its construction date but CF Colcord purchased the lot in 1909. Initially it was the Miller Brothers Department Store; it became the Goodholm Building; and, last, it was Sears & Roebuck's downtown (and then only Okc) store. The postcard below bears a 1912 postmark on its back side.

Click on image for larger view.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/Postcards/downtownmisc09_millerbrotherss.jpg (http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a49/DougLoudenback/Postcards/downtownmisc09_millerbrothers.jpg)

Steve, you mentioned scans from OKC: 2nd Time Around that I'd posted of this area ... but I'm not locating them. Which do you have in mind?

Larry OKC
10-19-2009, 01:44 AM
WOW...never new any of this...thanks Doug

"...and including a 30 foot deep canyon..." so someones idea over in Steve's blog about doing an underground cave (under the area between the MG and the new Park, isn't that outlandish...

metro
10-19-2009, 07:35 AM
For my money, calling it the "tube' is being very nice. Never been in it, never will be in it. Too many historical properties were destroyed so we could have a tube!

Urban renewal was a disaster, IMO.

That's the good ole boy mindset that lead to things like Urban Renewal, etc. We all agree Urban Renewal was a disaster for Oklahoma City, and most American cities for that matter. No one is debating that. That isn't a reason not to support the amenties we do have as a city. Those structures wore torn down because they had fallen into disrepair for many years, and no one cared enough about them to save them. If everyone had this attitude towards the Myriad Gardens, would the same be done, and just have a vacant park downtown? It's already vacant enough almost any day of the week. Thankfully, Devon is generous enough to revive and overhaul the park.


Forgive me, but this is a comment that falls more into urban mythology than factual history. I don't blame you for thinking this - it's what I was raised to believe as well.
Many sins can be pinned to the legacy of Urban Renewal - the destruction of the Baum Building, the Warner theater and Criterion were needless travesties where structures of far less consequence were built in their place.
BUT.....
I don't know of any significant historic properties torn down to make way for the Myriad Gardens. The only truly historic property on that block was the Biltmore (the rest of it was low-rise used furniture stores and pawn shops). Drawings by I.M. Pei called for the Biltmore to be an integral part of the gardens. You can see evidence of this in my book OKC Second Time Around. The Biltmore was a victim of being owned by out-of-state interests who gave up on it being a viable ongoing business.
After much research into this matter, I will tell you that even today renovation of such a structure, with low floor to ceiling heights and reinforced concrete construction, would be very very daunting and expensive. And should it have survived, I could argue the odds would have higher against the Skirvin being revived (split up resources, the Skirvin wouldn't have been so unique, etc).
I say all this to argue the following: the Crystal Bridge, in my opinion as a historian of downtown, is one of Urban Renewal's triumphs, and not a failure. I don't think it's fair to let Urban Renewal's sins cast a shadow on this iconic landmark's legacy or its long-term potential.

Exactly!

Oil Capital
10-19-2009, 08:31 AM
The items below are contained in this March 2008 blog article at Doug Dawgz Blog: Myriad Gardens (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2008/03/myriad-gardens.html) and/or in this Okc Postcards article, Doug Dawgz Blog: OKC Postcards (http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2008/04/okc-postcards.html) ...

When officially announced in 1972, a June 2 Oklahoma Journal ran this article:


$17 Million People's Park Plan Unveiled

Perhaps the most imaginative dream for a people's park in the heart of a large American city was unveiled Thursday as the plan for Oklahoma City's Myriad Gardens. Local officials say they hope to reach for the stars and have most of the park finished by 1976.
* * *
Everything from a children's zoo to an ice skating pond and including a 30 foot deep canyon, a two-acre lake, botanical gardens, a sports hall of fame, a classic car museum, arts and science centers, a planetarium, a cluster of restaurants and movie houses, museums and a new Main Library for Oklahoma City is included in the Gardens plan.
* * *
A Phase Two plan for the gardens will extend east to Shartel and triple the park's size to a total of 33 acres.

The image which accompanied the article showed the Gardens as looking like this:

Click on images below for larger

As it appeared in Oklahoma Journal


Of course, it didn't turn out that way. The money wasn't there to do it. But, as you can see, both the Biltmore Hotel (shown as Hotel Oklahoma) and the Tivoli Inn (originally, the Oklahoma Club but renamed by a new owner to match what was earlier thought to become the garden's original name, the Oklahoma Tivoli Gardens) were marked for preservation.

Among other things that didn't happen with the plan, note the location of a new downtown library in the southwest corner.

The Oklahoma Club/Tivoli Inn (if preserved, better it would be were it shorn of its false exterior that the new owner put on it) was also a building worth preserving, in my opinion.



Cool info. Thanks. I presume the bit about a phase II expansion was intended to say "west to Shartel" rather than "east"?

jbrown84
10-19-2009, 08:43 AM
I'm glad that it ended up being a real green space as opposed to cramming all those buildings on to the same site.

Doug Loudenback
10-19-2009, 10:39 AM
Cool info. Thanks. I presume the bit about a phase II expansion was intended to say "west to Shartel" rather than "east"?
Yeah, my other east! Thanks for catching my error ... fixit time again.

warreng88
04-13-2010, 07:45 AM
Festival of the Arts brings peak at future
BY STEVE LACKMEYER
Published: April 13, 2010

A visit to the annual Spring Festival of the Arts later this month might involve a bit more pain than usual. The parking usually enjoyed by visitors no longer exists because of construction of the new Devon Energy headquarters across the street from the festivalís home at the Myriad Gardens.

But those who take the time to find alternate parking places will get the chance to see the festival one more time before it changes forever.

And change is definitely coming.

Read the rest of Steve's article at:

NewsOK (http://www.newsok.com/festival-of-the-arts-brings-peak-at-future/article/3453467?custom_click=headlines_widget)

jbrown84
04-15-2010, 06:46 PM
What peek? Based on the headline, I thought the article was going to say there would be some kind of visual presentation during the fest of what the renovation involved, but then said nothing of the sort.

FritterGirl
04-15-2010, 10:11 PM
Not to surmise what is or isn't in Steve's article, but there will be a display of renderings, and possibly a model inside the south lobby of the Crystal Bridge during Festival.

The conservatory and outdoor grounds will both be closed as of April 26. In fact, crews are already out working on building platforms underneath the Crystal Bridge to support the scaffolding that will be soon put in place.

Assuming everything moves according to current plan, crews will start moving into the outdoor grounds on Monday, April 26 to begin preparations for demolition.

jbrown84
04-22-2010, 07:15 PM
Will there be a fence around it?

Platemaker
04-27-2010, 10:57 AM
The welcome video for the 2010 Conference of Mayors at this link suggests the mayors will be able to tour the Myriad Gardens.... hmmm?
The U.S. Conference of Mayors : 78th Annual Meeting Welcome Video (http://www.usmayors.org/78thAnnualMeeting/)

FritterGirl
04-27-2010, 11:58 AM
Will there be a fence around it?

Yes. Eventually, there will be a fence around the entire outdoor grounds, similar to what you see around the Devon site.


The welcome video for the 2010 Conference of Mayors at this link suggests the mayors will be able to tour the Myriad Gardens.... hmmm?

Not sure when that video was put together or presented. It's doubtful they'll be at the Gardens unless special hard hat tours are arranged. I haven't heard anything about it, but anything is possible.

If nothing else, it speaks very highly for our City that we'll be hosting so many mayors with so many construction cranes here and about. It's a great testament to our progress.