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Competing Petitions Seek to Save/Destroy These Nine Buildings

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I’m not sure I’ve ever seen corporate interests press so hard for public support for demolition of downtown properties as I’m seeing this week leading up to Thursday’s vote by the Downtown Design Review Committee on the fate of buildings on the block of Hudson and Main. The Mayor’s State of the City Speech includes a petition being circulated by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber urging people to sign their petition favoring demolition – get updates here. A petition to save the buildings has been circulated by Preservation Oklahoma. I am not taking sides, but I will show the historic photos and the current photos to let people see for themselves what is being proposed. I will also note 499 W Sheridan proposes two separate garages that will comprise more than half the space being built and used as part of the 27-story tower development.

Photos courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society
Photos courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society

 

As recently as two years ago I was tracking interest in converting the old Hotel Black into either housing or a hotel. Nick Preftakes began terminating leases last year at the converted office building and it has stood empty since last summer. Developer Hines indicates the building is functionally obsolete and in need of repairs. Ditto for the Motor Hotel to the north.

Hotel Black and Motor Hotel today – including interior shots from when the building was being leased just a year ago:

Old Hotel Black and Motor Hotel, photo by Will Hider.
Old Hotel Black and Motor Hotel, photo by Will Hider.

 

Lobby at former Hotel Black as of last year.
Lobby at former Hotel Black as of last year.

Also targeted – former Baron’s Department store, most recently known as home of Carpenter Square Theater.

Every building to the right of the Harbour Longmire building in this photo is set to destruction. Most of the storefronts are essentially intact, though the buildings are in bad shape and have been empty far longer than the other buildings targeted for demolition.
Every building to the right of the Harbour Longmire building in this photo is set to destruction. Most of the storefronts are essentially intact, though the buildings are in bad shape and have been empty far longer than the other buildings targeted for demolition.

And finally, the building that the Planning Department is taking on a stand on and recommending be saved or incorporated into the project – the Union Bus Station. The bus station went vacant in November, 2013 when operations moved to Reno and Eastern. The building was eyed by Keith Paul and Good Egg Dining last summer but his effort to lease the property for a Republic restaurant died when the owner stopped showing interest in leasing the space.

 

Related Photos
 Every building to the right of the Harbour Longmire building in this photo is set to destruction. Most of the storefronts are essentially intact, though the buildings are in bad shape and have been empty far longer than the other buildings targeted for demolition.

Every building to the right of the Harbour Longmire building in this photo is set to destruction. Most of the storefronts are essentially intact, though the buildings are in bad shape and have been empty far longer than the other buildings targeted for demolition.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d4149f00b6d5c8d25dd58f560bef590d.jpg" alt="Photo - Every building to the right of the Harbour Longmire building in this photo is set to destruction. Most of the storefronts are essentially intact, though the buildings are in bad shape and have been empty far longer than the other buildings targeted for demolition. " title=" Every building to the right of the Harbour Longmire building in this photo is set to destruction. Most of the storefronts are essentially intact, though the buildings are in bad shape and have been empty far longer than the other buildings targeted for demolition. "><figcaption> Every building to the right of the Harbour Longmire building in this photo is set to destruction. Most of the storefronts are essentially intact, though the buildings are in bad shape and have been empty far longer than the other buildings targeted for demolition. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7126aee36f69410d2ee8a1ba1f4a5611.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=" "><figcaption> </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7164d2512a3af3cf92fdeb24e5164fec.jpg" alt="Photo - Old Hotel Black and Motor Hotel, photo by Will Hider. " title=" Old Hotel Black and Motor Hotel, photo by Will Hider. "><figcaption> Old Hotel Black and Motor Hotel, photo by Will Hider. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d24d951bba3639f85ac16b7e214bb1cb.jpg" alt="Photo - Photos courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society " title=" Photos courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society "><figcaption> Photos courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eb0e7f5387791cab293eb0b522a952bf.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=" "><figcaption> </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3e2e15a5b2e23c098d6ab4e287b6869a.jpg" alt="Photo - Lobby at former Hotel Black as of last year. " title=" Lobby at former Hotel Black as of last year. "><figcaption> Lobby at former Hotel Black as of last year. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eb0e7f5387791cab293eb0b522a952bf.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=" "><figcaption> </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3ea523505a5a84eb810264d9cd8a1fcd.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=" "><figcaption> </figcaption></figure>
Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›

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