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Oklahoma DEQ set to replace aging Midtown garage

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The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is planning to replace an aging garage west of its headquarters at NW 6 and Robinson Avenue with a new eight-story garage as shown in this rendering. [RENDERING BY GSB]
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is planning to replace an aging garage west of its headquarters at NW 6 and Robinson Avenue with a new eight-story garage as shown in this rendering. [RENDERING BY GSB]

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is preparing to build a new eight-story garage on adjoining surface parking that will then be followed by demolition of its existing four-story garage on the west side of the agency’s headquarters.

Plans filed with the Oklahoma City Planning Department show the state agency wants to build the garage at the southwest corner of NW 7 and Robinson Avenue, immediately north of the agency’s headquarters.

The 420-space garage designed by GSB would replace the current 320-full-size space structure immediately west of the headquarters facing NW 6. The agency is seeking to tear down the existing garage, built in 1957 and not in great shape, once the new one is built, so it can create a secured 48-space surface parking lot for the agency’s fleet.

Michael Hinchey, project architect with GSB, said the six-story older garage never fully served the needs of the agency, which bought the parking structure and adjoining office building from Southwestern Bell in 1998.

“They’ve been spending a lot of maintenance dollars on the garage for a long time,” Hinchey said. “Concrete is falling off, and there are areas that are not usable because of that. The garage was never big enough to park all of their employees and their fleet, so they’ve been leasing spaces elsewhere to accommodate their needs.”

The design by GSB is within the context of other new garages recently built in the area with the façade consisting of precast concrete with metal panel orange veneers used to complement the brick in the headquarters building and perforated steel panels on the frame surrounding the street level. Upper levels, meanwhile, are decorated with anodized aluminum tubing.

The current garage was built in 1958 by Standard Life Insurance which was headquartered across the street at the Heritage Building (formerly known as the Journal Record Building). The future surface lot will be between the office building and an early 1900s two-story brick building that was converted into the parking about 50 years ago.

“Once we tear the garage down and put in the surface lot, we will be cleaning up the west side of the office building,” Hinchey said. “We also will be cleaning up the east facade of the building to the west (of the future surface lot) and there is money budgeted to reroof it if it’s damaged during the garage demolition.”

Related Photos
<strong>The current Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality garage, shown in the background of the headquarters being built by Southwestern Bell in 1958, was developed separately by Standard Life Insurance, which was located across the street. [OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY]</strong>

The current Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality garage, shown in the background of the headquarters being built by Southwestern Bell in 1958, was developed separately by Standard Life Insurance, which was located across the street. [OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5dea9f5468d7f640613f7f3489ef2318.jpg" alt="Photo - The current Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality garage, shown in the background of the headquarters being built by Southwestern Bell in 1958, was developed separately by Standard Life Insurance, which was located across the street. [OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY] " title=" The current Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality garage, shown in the background of the headquarters being built by Southwestern Bell in 1958, was developed separately by Standard Life Insurance, which was located across the street. [OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY] "><figcaption> The current Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality garage, shown in the background of the headquarters being built by Southwestern Bell in 1958, was developed separately by Standard Life Insurance, which was located across the street. [OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1d3a910e6e1408354f58191bad8b19b4.jpg" alt="Photo - The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is planning to replace an aging garage west of its headquarters at NW 6 and Robinson Avenue with a new eight-story garage as shown in this rendering. [RENDERING BY GSB] " title=" The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is planning to replace an aging garage west of its headquarters at NW 6 and Robinson Avenue with a new eight-story garage as shown in this rendering. [RENDERING BY GSB] "><figcaption> The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is planning to replace an aging garage west of its headquarters at NW 6 and Robinson Avenue with a new eight-story garage as shown in this rendering. [RENDERING BY GSB] </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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