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  1. #1

    Northwest OKC Founders National Bank building

    I could have sworn there was an article for this. Well, apparently this beautiful building is being targeted for a demolition according to a petition that I saw circulating among Facebook. Anyone know anything about it? I hope it is not true. I really like this building.

    https://www.change.org/p/okie-mod-sq...fb_ref=Default

  2. #2

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    From the petition page

    "The Founders National Bank building in Oklahoma City is one of the Sooner State's best examples of mid-century modern architecture. Designed by Robert Alan Bowlby and opened in 1964, the building quickly became a beloved local landmark and continues to inspire and impress today.

    Unfortunately, the valuable land surrounding the bank building has caught developers' attention and the bank building itself is now in danger of being demolished.

    Please take a minute and sign this petition -- and ask your friends to do so, too -- so we can let city planners and developers know how important it is to keep the Founders National Bank building and incorporate it into any development plans.

    Thank you,

    The Okie Mod Squad "

  3. #3

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    This has to be a huge NO. Great building!



    Here is a link to the great group working to save this building - okcmod.com

  4. #4

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    I love this building and have a lot invested in this neighborhood, so I would hate to see it go. It is iconic and was built the same year as Founders Tower.

  5. Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    You guys know how saving buildings goes around this town right?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    This building is outside any design or historical preservation district, so they don't need any real approval to demolish it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    I've been worried about that building for many years. Changes in the way people interface with banks, out-of-state ownership of the bank located in the building itself, strong commercial utilization of the surrounding area, and a general cultural disregard for unique/odd architecture conspire to make this building ripe for the demo bug.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    It has also been modified quite a bit from it's original form; space added around the periphery, etc.

    No longer has that wonderful see-through quality.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    If the exterior were restored to its original state imagine what an amazing setting that would be for a restaurant.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    I love that building. My folks used to bank at the Local Federal that was right across the street, and as a child I used to admire it as we drove by. That was back before the modifications were done around the outside. I would love to see it brought back to it's as built configuration. ...

    Beautiful shot above by the way.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    Say goodbye to it now. It's as good as gone and there is nothing any of you can do about it.

    Sucks to be losing all of these mid-century landmarks. We already lost the quirky little theater behind the Founders Tower.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    Say goodbye to it now. It's as good as gone and there is nothing any of you can do about it.

    Sucks to be losing all of these mid-century landmarks. We already lost the quirky little theater behind the Founders Tower.
    The Continental, one of my favorite movie theaters from when I was young, that one hurt since it was one of the largest (if not the largest) indoor screens in the city (might've even been a Cinerama screen). Saw 2001 there while under the influence of, um, some green thing, at a midnight show while rocking in those comfy seats, wow...

    If that bank building goes (which it probably will, we just don't have enough donut shop/nail salon/liquor store/pizza place strip malls around, y'know), that would suck immensely, it's like having a Jetsons-style building in real life...

    And thanks for the okcmod.com tip/link, zookeeper, that's about my favorite style of architecture, didn't know they were around, need to find out more about them, and get involved.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    Say goodbye to it now. It's as good as gone and there is nothing any of you can do about it.

    Sucks to be losing all of these mid-century landmarks. We already lost the quirky little theater behind the Founders Tower.
    Is this for sure a done deal?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    After a little digging, I've found that the property is owned by Schlosser Development Corporation - and has been since 2008. These guys seem to mostly focus on retail, although they do seem to have some office space. Supposedly Freedom Oklahoma (new name of the Cimarron Alliance) shares offices there with Bank of America - or at least they did in 2013. A Loopnet listing for the property shows 3 spaces available for lease in the building, however, so they may not office there any longer. I can find no demolition permits for this building either; most recent permit period was an electrical permit for a new sign in early 2015.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    Quote Originally Posted by rezman View Post
    Is this for sure a done deal?
    No, the building is for sale, and has been for a long time now. But no purchasers.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    Does the "Founder's District" have an ED, and is there a budget? Can "they" buy this building and turn it into organization office space or something?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    Why would anyone want to buy it? To be labeled a pariah for knocking it down to utilize the potential of the rapidly increasing value of the dirt? This is gold dome x1000. Hey maybe we could put a sprouts express into it!

    Sorry for my cynicism but everyone in town wants to be a boutique developer. I'm sure this could be developed into some kind of cute cafe/brasserie/deli/flower shop. But who, those of us who know commercial real estate, would buy this thing, my rough guess is $2mil cash sale due to what eyeballs as close to 2 acres. Then spend an easy million to clean it up and dice it up for white box NNN for boutique tenants. And I say boutique because the donut shops and pizza places don't pay that kind of rent. So let's say, for the sake of conversation, you've got 16,000 feet to lease at $25/ft which is market rate for way higher profile stuff right now, uptown, midtown, $25-$30 is the going rate. That's $400,000 a year in rent. For a 3(probably 3.5 now with taxes, permits, TI and architectural) million investment you wouldn't see a return for 8.5-10years. Now take the tower theater for instance. They have a similar budget but are leasing 35,000 feet, over TWICE the space. And it's uptown. Not not sitting on expressway/63rd&May amongst one of the largest retail nodes in the metro OR a mile away from the mall.

    This is very rough math I won't deny. But it's not a mile off. Banks aren't going to finance that kind of idea. And even if you(the operator)had 3.5 million and wanted to buy the building and operate your own space(which they don't, i.e. Sprouts, whole foods, trader joes, every mcnellies concept, half the Hal smith concepts) you'd still be looking at millions more to completely repurpose a space who's original purpose was to file and distribute little bits of paper. You know why sprouts and trader joes are moving into former grocery stores? Because it's already the function of that space. It's wired for refridgeration, and plumbed for the condensate of said refridgeration. It has a sprinkler system....do you any idea what it would cost to put a sprinkler in that building? You have re-tap the water main for boosted pressure for starters.

    I'm just saying it's ludicrous to try and block or disrupt an owner's right to do what he wishes with his property in a non-protected district. Regardless of how cool it looks/looked. And if you're named something like "schlosser development court" the board of directors does't give a rat's about HP.

    All that being said. I used to live right there and it's a beautiful building. And all kidding aside, it would make an awesome sprouts express! I'll put my bet that it's either still sitting there empty, or another hotel in 5 years. Now I need a beer!
    Last edited by Uptowner; 01-15-2016 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Spelling hard

  18. #18

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    One might not have to use the building as a standalone, but perhaps it might be included as part of a new building, adapted and blended into something new. Or perhaps just the arches and vast "sail" roof could be used to shelter a courtyard or entry to a new building. I just feel it can be incorporated creatively somehow into a new structure (a tribute, if you will at the minimum) if it cannot be used as a renovated standalone structure. It is iconic and anchors the neighborhood along with its architecturally unifying counterpart edifice-- Founders Tower. I am well acquainted with the President of the neighborhood association and he is strongly supportive of defending its preservation and some sort of adaptive reuse or inclusion of the bank building in any new development and or new structures on the site. We have to stand for creativity in architectural design in this city. It is done in lots of other cities and can and should be done here. Here is a great example of the kind of creative thinking I'm talking about down in Miami: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/loca...e12290225.html Make sure to look at all three photos in the slideshow.

    And the plan is to turn the former sanctuary space into a grocery! That's thinking outside the box and is so unique.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    I contacted Bob Bowlby, the architect for Founders Bank, and asked if he would mind making a statement. He was happy to comply and sent us at the Okie Mod Squad this statement:

    My design and the subsequent building of the Founders National Bank building of 1964 is, I think, a one of a kind and interesting example of the contemporary Oklahoma architectural scene in its mid-century period and as such should be kept if at all possible as part of the architectural heritage of Oklahoma City. Surely, an effort could be made made by the new owners to find some new and suitable usage of the building.
    -- Bob Bowlby

  20. #20

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    On the subject of Mid Century Modern, here's a site I have in my favorites that I forgot to mention. ... Cool variety of stuff from mid century and before.

    Plan59 > 1950s Art > The Retro Graphics Archive

  21. #21

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    On the subject of Mid Century Modern, here's a site I have in my favorites that I forgot to mention. ... Cool variety of stuff from mid century and before.

    Plan59 > 1950s Art > The Retro Graphics Archive

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	van60city.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	195.5 KB 
ID:	12125

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	evin59.jpg 
Views:	77 
Size:	221.8 KB 
ID:	12126

  22. #22

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    This building is going up for sale. I really fear some asshole will target this for demolition with some chain store. Keep an eye on this one. I really love this building.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    Rezman, this is a bit late but thank you posting that! That is really cool.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    This building is going up for sale. I really fear some asshole will target this for demolition with some chain store. Keep an eye on this one. I really love this building.
    Hasn't it been for sale for a long time? Or just for lease?

  25. #25

    Default Re: Founders National Bank building

    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrator View Post
    Hasn't it been for sale for a long time? Or just for lease?
    Just for lease.

    The for sale thing hasn't been confirmed yet but I'm keeping my eye on it.

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