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Century Center, Then and Now

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Century Center Mall briefly succeeded in the early 1980s as the only cluster of retail in the Central Business District following the destruction of Main Street during the Urban Renewal era.
Century Center Mall briefly succeeded in the early 1980s as the only cluster of retail in the Central Business District following the destruction of Main Street during the Urban Renewal era.

The Sheraton Century Center Hotel (now just known as the Sheraton Hotel) and Century Center Mall were developed concurrently and really represented the only hotel and retail ever built during the heyday of downtown Oklahoma City's original Urban Renewal era of the 1960s and 1970s

The hotel opened with great fanfare in 1977, but the mall lingered unfinished for a couple of years even though the shell itself was done at the same time as the hotel. But in a city that seemed to spend 25 years chasing an elusive downtown Galleria, Century Center didn't fare as badly as many might think.

By the early 1980s, the mall was home to an F.A.O. Schwartz toy store, a newsstand, gift shop, clothing stores, jewelry store, restaurants, a fitness center and offices.

The mall also suffered from a design that pretty much ignored the street. Those driving past the mall couldn't see what was going on inside. The mid-1980s oil bust devastated all of downtown, and the mall lost most of its tenants.

The city council briefly explored buying the building and turning it into additional meeting space that could attach to the convention center across the street. Owners of the hotel then looked at converting the building into ballroom space.

In the early 2000s, just one tenant was left: the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. The remodeled Century Center is reopening with just one space left available for lease on the second floor. Other tenants opening this spring are a downtown branch of the YMCA of Central Oklahoma, Mahogany Steakhouse and Revolve Pizza.

Century Center, looking west to the main entrance to what is now the newsroom of The Oklahoman.
Century Center, looking west to the main entrance to what is now the newsroom of The Oklahoman.
The same view as the move started on February 9th.
The same view as the move started on February 9th.

The same view as the move started on February 9th.

Century Center, corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues, 2007.
Century Center, corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues, 2007.
The same corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues during a Valentines Day marriage proposal last month.
The same corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues during a Valentines Day marriage proposal last month.

Related Photos
 The same view as the move started on February 9th.

The same view as the move started on February 9th.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-35cb7cbfa54244cecea24d3e66171f9e.jpg" alt="Photo - The same view as the move started on February 9th. " title=" The same view as the move started on February 9th. "><figcaption> The same view as the move started on February 9th. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d2b512440fa62c63374b2b6d8613105e.jpg" alt="Photo - Century Center, looking west to the main entrance to what is now the newsroom of The Oklahoman. " title=" Century Center, looking west to the main entrance to what is now the newsroom of The Oklahoman. "><figcaption> Century Center, looking west to the main entrance to what is now the newsroom of The Oklahoman. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8bd6c77508aa88a1ec65f45a66f86110.jpg" alt="Photo - Century Center, corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues, 2007. " title=" Century Center, corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues, 2007. "><figcaption> Century Center, corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues, 2007. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9522ac2a7fcd399add524876e8b7023e.jpg" alt="Photo - Century Center Mall briefly succeeded in the early 1980s as the only cluster of retail in the Central Business District following the destruction of Main Street during the Urban Renewal era. " title=" Century Center Mall briefly succeeded in the early 1980s as the only cluster of retail in the Central Business District following the destruction of Main Street during the Urban Renewal era. "><figcaption> Century Center Mall briefly succeeded in the early 1980s as the only cluster of retail in the Central Business District following the destruction of Main Street during the Urban Renewal era. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-03f42217ca084ece67d9ba81f694a1a7.jpg" alt="Photo - The same corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues during a Valentines Day marriage proposal last month. " title=" The same corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues during a Valentines Day marriage proposal last month. "><figcaption> The same corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues during a Valentines Day marriage proposal last month. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-06b57bbc9d8aeca4032a08645a3e9121.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=" "><figcaption> </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-97ceb948dea0ba0697e4700e10304134.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=" "><figcaption> </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7da2fd93cfcc23fffb3c60efce178950.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=" "><figcaption> </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7da2fd93cfcc23fffb3c60efce178950.jpg" alt="Photo - Century Center, the corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues, 2007. " title=" Century Center, the corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues, 2007. "><figcaption> Century Center, the corner of Sheridan and Robinson Avenues, 2007. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-472e33573dcb436ea5c0566359c746fc.jpg" alt="Photo - A view of Century Center along Robinson Avenue - what is now the main entrance to The Oklahoman. " title=" A view of Century Center along Robinson Avenue - what is now the main entrance to The Oklahoman. "><figcaption> A view of Century Center along Robinson Avenue - what is now the main entrance to The Oklahoman. </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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