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09-23-2005, 08:02 AM
Park Harvey Center sold: $2 million deal may transform 17-story tower into apartments

by David Page
The Journal Record

Gardner/Tanenbaum Group has purchased the 17-story Park Harvey Center in downtown Oklahoma City for $2 million and may renovate the building for apartments.

Park Harvey tenants have been notified in letters that the building at 200 N. Harvey Ave. was bought by Park Harvey Apartments and leases transferred to the new owner. The letter was signed by Richard Tanenbaum, manager, Park Harvey Apartments. He also is CEO of Gardner/Tanenbaum.

At least some Park Harvey Center tenants were notified that leases were being terminated.

"You are hereby notified that the new owner hereby terminates your tenancy effective Nov. 30, 2005," read a letter with a Park Avenue Apartments letterhead and signed by Tanenbaum. The letter was dated Sept. 13.

Tanenbaum did not return calls on Thursday. His office said he was out of town.

The Park Harvey Center would be the second downtown building Gardner/Tanenbaum has renovated for residential use.

The Montgomery opened late last year at 500 W. Main with 56 high-end apartments. Built as a Montgomery Ward department store in 1919, the remodeled, six-story structure has apartments on the third through sixth floors, offices on the second floor and retail at street level.

The Park Harvey Center is about three blocks from The Montgomery.

Park Harvey Associates had been attempting to sell the 170,000-square-foot building for several years. Park Harvey Center was offered in an auction in November 2002 with a minimum bid of $1.85 million. No bids were received and the building was made available to potential buyers in a negotiated sale.

Built in 1957, the office building consists of poured concrete with an exterior of metal panel and glass. Four high-speed elevators service the building. The building sits on two 99-year ground leases, both of which expire in 2054.

Gardner/Tanenbaum has plans for at least two other residential projects.

Earlier this year, Gardner/Tanenbaum began renovations on a 20-story building formerly known as Citizens Tower at 2200 N. Classen Blvd. Plans call for the building to be revamped into about 80 luxury condominiums.

Gardner/Tanenbaum announced plans in July for a $51 million upscale apartment complex at 400 Central Park Dr. The Lincoln at Central Park will have nearly 800 units on 47 acres. The complex will be built in three phases.

09-23-2005, 08:13 AM
Here's a good photo from Doug Loudenback's site:

09-23-2005, 08:19 AM
Two million? That is a steal. That building should have gone for 17 million.

Doug Loudenback
09-23-2005, 10:03 AM
Yep. I'll be looking for other quarters soon. It will take a lot of money to update and improve the building, particularly for apartments.

09-23-2005, 10:22 AM
Doug, did you receive a lease termination letter?

If they are only giving until the end of November, that's not much time.

09-23-2005, 11:27 AM
I think Tanenbaum needs to purchase First National. He seems to be doing a great job converting old office space for residential use.

09-23-2005, 06:02 PM
Wow that is a great location. I like the idea of fixing up old building but I would like to see a new residental building being built instead. But what ever as long as it gets more people living downtown.

09-23-2005, 08:01 PM

09-23-2005, 09:21 PM
Hey Doug, when I was in downtown today, I stopped by your office to say hi, but they said you were out. You'll be leaving behind a lovely office. It's a shame. Seems like that building is pretty full. There's a lot of offices listed on the directory.

09-23-2005, 09:52 PM
That is a stunningly ugly building, what, besides the location, is going to be the draw to living there?

09-23-2005, 11:45 PM
I agree that it's not very nice looking, but at least something is happening with their downtown.

09-23-2005, 11:48 PM
That is a stunningly ugly building, what, besides the location, is going to be the draw to living there?

I don't doubt Tanenbaum will do exterior remodeling to make the building more attractive. I dropped by Doug's office in that building a while back and the interior is surprisingly clean and well maintained.

Gotta love that unattractive international style architecture. It screams 1970s.

09-23-2005, 11:52 PM
High-Rise Rising: Apartment Living Above The City Doubles

It was just four years ago that Oklahoma City had only three options for high-rise apartment living. Everyone new the options, and where they were. Regency Tower downtown, Lakeview Towers near Lake Hefner, and the Tiffany House just off Northwest Expressway. Now, the options have doubled to six. Aside from the afore mentioned, high-rise corporate apartments, known as 'The Montgomery', opened downtown. The Classen, a high-rise condo development, is under renovation in the former 20-story Citizens Tower near N.W. 23rd and Classen. And now, another buyer purchased United Founders Tower, with plans to turn the 20-story office building into high-rise apartments. Funny, that's what many out-of-towners thought the building was. The balconies made it confusing. With apartment towers catching on, finally, in Oklahoma City, it could pave the way for further development, especially downtown. Many members of OKCTalk have longed for First National Tower to be re-opened as a residential tower. If so, it would be the tallest in the state, as the tower is already the second tallest in the city, even without the mast.

We all know that living higher means more density for the urbanized region of Oklahoma City, and with it, more and better retail, as well as a more urban feel. As undesirable office space is being converted into living space, it only makes sense to build appealing office towers, and growing Oklahoma City's skyline.
Oklahoma City Scene article

Make that seven high-rise options!

09-24-2005, 03:30 PM
And, you know, if a building erected in 1957 "screams 1970s," it was obviously ahead of its time. :)

09-24-2005, 06:05 PM
Yes it is one of the ugliest buildings downtown, but I'm sure Tannenbaum will make it look better. There sure is no one doing more for urban housing right now than Richard Tannenbaum.

09-25-2005, 09:33 PM
i dont think it is necessarily ugly just really plain. ugly: the classen.

09-27-2005, 09:35 AM
I like the Classen. Good Wright rip off of the Price Tower. Definately has character.

But when you're talking residential high rises, it's really what's inside that counts. The best part about these coversions is that it takes an unattractive office building, where outward aesthetic really makes a different in corporate image and coverts it to residential where inward aesthetic is most important. Obviously, we all want better looking buildings, but it's there and I am much more in favor of conversions that reduce vancancy and create density.

Let's build new stuff when we need the real estate, not to spite what came before. Full "ugly' buildinsg are better than empty ugly ones.

09-27-2005, 11:09 AM
I like the's really what's inside that counts.

One of the most attractive features of the Classen, on the inside, is the lack of interior columns, due to the central support of the tower. Each unit will have a wall full of windows with a great view of OKC.

09-27-2005, 11:50 AM
Definately. It will give the units a much larger feel to them as well. Part me wishes I hadn't just bought a new house last year, as I think that will be a nice place to live.

09-27-2005, 08:07 PM
i wonder if this new project of his will be affordable. all of his other projects are extremley expensive to live in.

09-29-2005, 10:10 AM
i wonder if this new project of his will be affordable. all of his other projects are extremley expensive to live in.

I agree. I would love to see a less exclusive urban development. Maybe the scale of this building will help him do that, or at least provide an opportunity to offer a broader price range.

09-29-2005, 10:21 AM
i wonder if this new project of his will be affordable. all of his other projects are extremley expensive to live in.

Each person must decide for themselves. Affordable is in the wallet of the beholder.

09-29-2005, 06:51 PM
Each person must decide for themselves. Affordable is in the wallet of the beholder.

ok whatever. $1000+ for an apartment, like the montgomery, is too high. sure, id love to live somewhere like that, but id rather have a house for that price.

09-30-2005, 07:59 AM
$1000+ for an apartment, like the montgomery, is too high

Apparently not, as most of it is rented out. $1000/mo for an exclusive property is pretty good in most places. For that matter, $1000/mo for just a regular apartment is pretty good. That's what roomates are for. :)

For better or worse, as long as people are willing to pay a premium to be downtown, the pricing will reflect that.

11-07-2005, 09:02 AM
Did anyone catch yesterday's article about the Park Harvey in the Oklahoman?? I tried to post it but I could'nt find it. Tanenbaum addressed the parking concern. He stated he is not concerned and that most of his targeted demographic already pays to park somewhere downtown already because they work downtown. He said according to the latest study about downtown housing stating there is already a demand for so many thousand units already, he has bigger problems if he can't find 170 people to buy apartments that are concerned too much about parking. I agree.

Rent was going to range from I think $550-$1500. Avg. rent is half the Montgomery's at $780 I believe compared to the Montgomery's $1480.

11-07-2005, 10:00 AM
I saw that.

Good news for the pricing. I also think it will be nice to have one pedestrian oriented development. Like Tannenbaum said, it's not like 170 units will revloutionize OKC's lifestyle. It's just for that very small segment of population that feels there are advantages to walking instead of driving.

Downtown living will never appeal to everyone, and it will always be a small part of our residential mix overall. But that doesn't mean it can't work. The mistake would actually be to develop it with OKC's suburban car-oriented culture, as that market is already well supplied and will continue to be.

11-07-2005, 10:23 AM
I'm not so sure about this. I like his idea, but downtown hasn't matured to the point that people don't need their cars; they need them for everything here. We have no convenient public transit system.

He should arrange for a 100 or so spaces from one of the garages, like the Galleria, and offer it to people who do not have paid spaces already.

11-07-2005, 11:53 AM
That is a good point, guru.

Until we get convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, shoppes, and other stores downtown (in the CBD) then people living downtown would still have to drive somewhere - at least midtown - to shop.

11-07-2005, 11:53 AM
Maybe he would incorporate a first floor retail arcade or something that has, say - an upscale grocery store!!! Hmm, I like the sound of that!

11-07-2005, 12:57 PM
I like his idea, but downtown hasn't matured to the point that people don't need their cars;

We're not talking about everyone downtown, but just one small building. And there are spaces for these people, just not right next door or as part of the complex.

It's funny that some want a pedestrian oriented downtown, but balk at attempts to do it. Business will not locate there if there aren't people walking around. This is an intermediate step. If they were building a new building far away from parking lots, then I'd be worried about it. But they are renovating a building that is surrounded by parking lots withink a few blocks. Surely, .0001% of the population is not as opposed to walking a few blocks as they other 99.999 pecernt is.

My only point is that, against the entire residential population, this is tiny, yet it is a significant step towards a "mature" downtown, as you say. Hey, if it does fail, then we'll know for sure that ideas of an urban pedestrian based downtown are just dreams.

11-07-2005, 03:31 PM
It's funny that some want a pedestrian oriented downtown, but balk at attempts to do it.

I couldn't agree more, those same people just skipped over the article as well as my point. If we can't get 170 people that either don't care about not having parking or don't already have a parking spot in a garage downtown then we have bigger concerns. Some people just won't ever get it I suppose

11-07-2005, 06:18 PM
Honestly, I think they go hand in hand.

Most big cities require some sort of retail on the first floor(s) with office or residential above. I think OKC should make this requirement for any and all new buildings downtown as well as those that CAN be renovated into mixed use!

This is a great way to add to downtown attractions, activities, and maturity - 'forcing' builders and developers to implement retail into their building ambitions. Plenty of major cities do this, and I think it is time for OKC to do the same.

I dont see any reason why there cant be an urban 7-11 storefront in Park Harvey, at least!!

11-07-2005, 11:56 PM
I agree on the 7 Eleven. I went to one in Honolulu that was in a large building on the first level. And people just walk up and go in.

I don't think we need to set aside spots. If some of the renters do not already have a spot for work, then they can just get one on their own in a nearby garage.

11-08-2005, 08:39 AM
Knowing Tanenbaum, retail won't be a concern, he has done so and plans on doing so in all his urban residential

11-08-2005, 09:42 AM
It's a great spot for retail too and probably was part of the motivation. WIth Leadership Square, The Oklahoma Tower, and the Galleria Parking garage right there, it's in the middle of some of the best office space we have and next to what I think will be our biggest parking complex.

11-08-2005, 10:02 AM
It's funny that some want a pedestrian oriented downtown, but balk at attempts to do it.....

My only point is that, against the entire residential population, this is tiny, yet it is a significant step towards a "mature" downtown, as you say. Hey, if it does fail, then we'll know for sure that ideas of an urban pedestrian based downtown are just dreams.

BDP, I hope you didn't misread my comments. I believe you're setting up a straw man here, when you say: "...if it does fail, then we'll know for sure that ideas of an urban pedestrian based downtown are just dreams."

How will we know that from this one project? This is the kind of thinking people in engage in when they want to prove something will fail, not succeed, like surburban developers, for example.

I used to live in NYC and I would love nothing more than to shed my automobile. That isn't realistic here.....YET.

My point is that if this project fails, it could set back other projects and worsen the potential of that which we all desire here, a pedestrian-oriented downtown.

You have to be realistic about the situation. People in OKC NEED their automobiles. There really isn't a choice. Downtown employees often need to use their automobiles during the course of their work, as well, so it's not just a simple matter of walking to work.

I'm sure the Park Harvey developer has studied this more than I have, and perhaps finding this 170 people will be relatively easy and my concerns are unfounded. I just would hate to see the failure of a project like this used as ammunition by the anti-downtown development crowd in the future.


11-08-2005, 11:27 AM
Well, like I said, I see this as an intermediate step. The building does not have parking per se. It does not own it's own lot, but there is tons of parking all around it, and more on the way. Of course, Oklahomans still need to use their cars and living at Park Harvey would not restrict anyone from having a car nor really even make using their car an inconvenience. That is, not to someone who doesn't mind walking a few blocks when they need it. I agree with Tannenbaum that there should be enough of these people to fill his 170 units or so. If not, then there just isnít a market for it at all.

This is actually a great litmus test, because this building will not have a parking problem as much as it will have a parking stigma to some. The idea that it has a parking problem is totally based on the lack of on site parking, not the parking reality that surrounds it. It looks like it has one, especially to the "park at the front door" mentality, but in reality it's a very minor inconvenience especially to those wanting to live downtown for a pedestrian experience. Itís a small inconvenience that, if not overcome, would set back the development of a pedestrian downtown, but also indicate that such a set back would be justified and that the car does indeed rule, even if illogically. That's not the sentiment of someone trying to prove it will fail, but simply a prudent objective observation.

This is a development which only needs to serve a few people to succeed, yet its success will go a long way to breaking down car and parking myths in regards to downtown residential development, ultimately leading to a development climate more geared towards pedestrians. On the other hand, businesses offering retail goods and services need to attract much greater customer volume to succeed. Introducing those too early will lead to their failure and, in my opinion, unjustly reinforce those myths and set back pedestrian development in a greater way.

IMO, this is much safer step to developing a pedestrian neighborhood in downtown than throwing a lot of services down there that donít have a customer base to begin with. This is a way to bringing those in love with the idea of a pedestrian downtown into the market, but on a scale small enough that failure is not Assured by any means. IMO, it just has the bigger upside at this point.

11-08-2005, 07:20 PM
"...if it does fail, then we'll know for sure that ideas of an urban pedestrian based downtown are just dreams."

That would be like saying "Oh, we didn't get the United Airlines maintenance center because we don't have quality of life. I guess we never will."

11-08-2005, 10:03 PM
Knowing Tanenbaum, retail won't be a concern, he has done so and plans on doing so in all his urban residential

Good to hear, thanks Metro!

11-09-2005, 08:06 AM

I appreciate your well-thought-out commentary, but I still disagree. What you seem to be saying is that if people cannot get over their stigma of the lack of parking, this will work against having a pedestrian-oriented downtown. That's a bit of a stretch.

A pedestrian-oriented downtown, in my view, is one in which there are people walking to their destinations, and one in which there are numerous destinations and services available to people who walk.

Should the developer have trouble finding 170 residents due to the lack of parking, all that stigmatizes is a large apartment development without parking. Nothing more.

I agree that if this fills up, it goes a long way toward the goal of a pedestrian-oriented downtown, but it does not fulfill that goal. It merely would suggest that a small number of people in Oklahoma City don't mind living in an apartment complex that is perhaps blocks away from where they park their vehicles.

No one here would suggest that more than a handful of the residents will not own automobiles. Probably every single tenant will. They have to park them somewhere. That in itself provides no evidence of the viability of a pedestrian-oriented downtown.

We all would desire a situation, eventually, in which owning an automobile itself is an option, not a necessity, but that will require much greater critical mass in downtown -- and a viable, extensive public transportation infrastructure.

We're all working for the same goals. I only suggest that if this project fails, it does in no way hamper our goal toward creating a pedestrian-oriented downtown, and to suggest it provides us any evidence other than the fact that people want a place to park their autos, would play into the hands of those interests who don't see a pedestrian-oriented downtown as a priority. Let's not create an equivalency that is a red herring and give those people any talking points.

11-09-2005, 08:26 AM
soonerguru, you hit the right point. Mass transportation is key, not whether or not this project succeeds. Yes, this will help us better reach that goal, but it is not critical. If there was better mass transportation there would already be more of a critical mass downtown, its the chicken and the egg dilemma. The good thing is even though it is later than should be, the new I-40 relocation project includes a new downtown boulevard that includes high speed mass transit lanes, more than likely it will be a rapid transit bus system.

11-09-2005, 11:06 AM
Let's not create an equivalency that is a red herring and give those people any talking points.

Thank you for your points. I am obviously not communicating very well. You seem to have really focused on the dark side here and on any of my suggestions of any negative implications of this project, while all I was trying to do was to point out the many positives and the great implications they will have.

I continue to point out that I do not feel this project is any kind of revolution, nor that it would be one either way. The truth of the matter is that IF it fails, everyone will point to the parking problem, which I feel will be misdirected, but it will happen. So, I am not creating any red herrings or straw men or whatever. Those points are ALREADY there. People keep saying that there is a parking is a problem downtown when there clearly is not. This project is for the few people that know there isn't one. This project will help to reverse that thinking in others.

You want a pedestrian downtown with goods and services. You want public transportation. This project is a small step in creating a need for those things. Truth is, the egg and the chicken is need. No one will put in services or support public transportation until it can be demonstrated as a need above of any idealistic dreams of an urban metropolis.

I am not afraid to say that parking would be referenced as cause for failure if that indeed happened. Do you think that it wouldn't? I am not creating the sentiment, but simply pointing out how it would play out. However, I am also not afraid of that failure. I believe it will work and I believe that it's success will go far in breaking down parking taboos and create an interest in services catering to pedestrians in the city. As someone living downtown who wants a more pedestrian oriented area, I would think that you would want the market for pedestrian living to be at capacity. I don't even think this project fills the entire demand for that.

In my view the only place we truly differ is that I believe in it and feel that it will help the parking image, while feel that it's parking situation will hurt it. Well, if it does in fact fail because of the parking, don't kid yourself, that will fuel the doubters' fodder (not create it). However, if it succeeds it will temper that pessimism a bit and I can't think of anything Iíd like to see more. Iím not arguing with you, I just donít share your pessimism on this specific project and see a great deal of upside in it to exacerbate the need for the developments we all want. I simply see it as a modest project that will have a positive impact in image that will probably extend past evem its real impact.

11-10-2005, 08:27 AM
Wow! I had not heard about this sell, I am very glad to hear about it. Park Harvey IS one of the ugliest buildings downtown, and I hope that it gets fixed. I used to work in the building on the 17th floor. While Brad, the building manager did a good job with what he had to work with, there will still be TONS of work to be done, especially in the area of Heat and air.

I am also glad that more people will get to experience the "joy" of the elevators. Those suckers ARE high speed. If you've never been on a fast elevator, stop by the park harvey and go up to the 17th. Your stomach gets left behind the first few times you ride.

01-25-2006, 11:03 AM
Talked with Tanenbaum today. The apartments should be ready for move ins by Sept. 1st of this year. A leasing office will be opened 60-90 days prior to that. Rentals will range between $550-590. Great news for downtown residential density.

01-25-2006, 12:59 PM
That's awesome. I had no idea it was moving along so quickly. Tha price range should be great for younger workers and anyone who wants an afforadable option downtown.

Tannenbaum is kicking some butt.

01-25-2006, 01:04 PM
ah, some resonable prices.

01-25-2006, 01:25 PM
Yep, if I don't buy me a house soon close to downtown, you can count me down for one of these

01-26-2006, 11:44 AM
So, are any of these dwellings going to be available for purchase? Is it all just rentals?

I think it would be nice to have some of the top floors reserved for people who would like to buy a condo instead of rent.

01-26-2006, 02:19 PM
I agree kevin, but what is the incentive for Tanenbaum? He can easily fill it with rentals and give him a revolving income versus a one time profit

01-26-2006, 03:07 PM
I agree kevin, but what is the incentive for Tanenbaum? He can easily fill it with rentals and give him a revolving income versus a one time profit

I can see why one would want a fairly constant stream of income. Makes a lot of $en$e.

However, I believe the incentive would be to help create a population that would be concerned with development and other issues in their neighborhood area. Home owners are more likely to be concerned with such issues than renters. They have a vested interest. Also, in normal residential housing, I know that when houses become rental properties, property values decline.

With 17 floors and 170 apartments, surely he can sell some of these the space upper space as condos.

Of course, I could be totally wrong in applying a suburban frame of thinking to an urban area.

08-15-2006, 03:39 PM
Anyone know the status on this. I see it everyday out my window, however it still looks like they are gutting it. GT originally announced it would have it's first move in's by September, but I don't see that happening. I think once again, they are not realizing that restoration is harder than new construction. They did this with the Classen and are having move in's over a year later than they first proposed. As someone said, underpromise and over deliver, not vice versa.

08-15-2006, 03:44 PM
Combined with the aborted condo conversion of the Montgomery, Tannenbaum's reputation is really taking a hit of late.

He may even have a hard time renting Park Harvey given how little regard he showed to the Montgomery tenants.

08-15-2006, 03:49 PM
Yeah, he was poised to do well but lately he's really slacked on working on his reputation. They need to do an add/campaign or something.

08-15-2006, 03:56 PM
well, I am a bit biased.

He has lots of projects and property in the area but as a person I do not like his attitude. I spoke to him once, very arrogant in my opinion. Seems only to be worried about himself not others, at all.

03-23-2007, 08:18 AM
Ready for move-in: Park Harvey apartments in downtown OKC welcome first residents today
by Kelley Chambers
The Journal Record

Journal Record Photo
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Park Harvey building in downtown Oklahoma City is in the process of becoming 162 residential rental units with the first tenants set to move in today.

Renovations on the building over the past few months have taken the former office space and converted it to condos with floor plans ranging from studio to two-bedroom apartments.

The 17-story, 170,000-square-foot building was built in 1957. Charles Dodson, vice president for Gardner-Tanenbaum Group’s multifamily division, said the price tag for renovations to the building is $16 million.

Situated between Leadership Square and across the street from the Oklahoma County Courthouse and the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, the building is targeting young professionals who want to live downtown but maybe can’t afford to buy a residence in the area.

“This is not considered a luxury community like The Montgomery or The Classen,” said Park Harvey leasing director Ashley Reed. “This is more your affordable downtown living.”

The building is owned and operated by Gardner-Tanenbaum, which also developed and owns The Montgomery and The Classen.

Reed said 10 of the units have already been spoken for and new residents will begin moving in sporadically over the coming weeks.

The units range in price from $525 a month for a studio on the second through fourth floors up to $1,330 a month for a two-bedroom unit on the 15th to 17th floors.

Along with plans for retail on the first floor and an athletic club, Reed said the building will have downtown Oklahoma City’s only liveried doorman.

She said the building will be controlled-access 24 hours a day, although the doorman will be on duty daily from early afternoon until about 11 p.m.

A doorman has not been hired yet, Reed said, because the management is searching for just the right person for the job.

Along with the renovations, many areas of the building were carefully restored to their original appearance, in line with historic tax credits the project received.

Reed said crews ripped up old tile in the lobby to reveal the original floor and worked to restore the original look and feel of several common areas in the building.

The structure does not have its own parking, but Reed said the developers have worked out a deal with the city of Oklahoma City for a special negotiated rate for residents to park in a nearby garage.

Brett Hamm, president of Downtown OKC Inc., said the residential market downtown for both sales and rental units is rapidly developing. He cited a 2005 study by DOKC that concluded that over the next 10 years, downtown can support up to 10,000 residential units.

“I think the Park Harvey development fits into a significant niche in that market, which will be that lower rental unit range,” he said. “So we’re talking students, young executives, and I think it will be great and very positive for the core. And the views are unlike anything else in Oklahoma City.”

03-23-2007, 11:12 AM

I have toured the Park Harvey and it is really cool and very reasonalbly priced. Check the place out if you are thinking about living DT but are on a tight budget!


03-23-2007, 11:33 AM
Good news that its finally open. If you drive or walk by it, you wouldn't know it. They still need to clean the exterior up a bit. If I didn't already own, this is where I would be.

03-25-2007, 08:01 PM - Apartments for rent in OKLAHOMA CITY, OK. (

03-26-2007, 02:39 AM
Unfortunately this remains the ugliest building downtown. The doorman thing should be cool, though.

03-26-2007, 11:57 AM
I saw a building last week of a very similar style in New York that looked much better. New glass and dark/black color schemes would greatly benefit the Park Harvey's asthetics.