Neighborhoods of Oklahoma City
The City of Oklahoma City uses Special Zoning Districts as a tool to maintain the character of many neighborhood communities. Downtown Oklahoma City itself is undergoing a renaissance. Between the mid-1980s and 1990s, downtown was unchanged and vacant, it was the scene of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on 5th Street between Robinson and Harvey Avenues, caused by convicted domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh. Many other buildings, such as the unique international style YMCA building one of few remaining in the United States were damaged or destroyed. White flight during the 1950s and 1960s left. During the Urban Renewal days of the early 1980s, controversial urban planning allowed for the destruction of 50 historic buildings and skyscrapers. Examples include the Biltmore Hotel, imploded to make way for the I. M. Pei-designed Myriad Botanical Gardens, the only major Urban Renewal project completed as planned. Many of the buildings which were not destroyed in the Central Business District were covered by new façades or left to Class-C office space.
The removal of historic structures left downtown without much retail presence. In stark contrast to the promise of Urban Renewal, Downtown had not seen a new skyscraper or any sort of major construction project for many years; the last major skyscraper built downtown was the First Oklahoma Tower in 1982 and the Leadership Square complex built in 1984. Leadership Square was intended to be a single 60+ floor skyscraper but was scaled down to two connected towers due to economic downturn. Downtown and surrounding areas such as Bricktown and Midtown have seen a significant revival in the wake of the MAPS program, which created new venues and attractions in the downtown area. Today, as Downtown and the Central Business District continue in their economic revival, there are numerous condo and apartment developments being built around downtown, along with older buildings that are being converted into apartments and hotels. Leading this charge is the renovation of the historic Skirvin Hotel, where numerous presidents and dignitaries have stayed.
The historic Colcord Building, Oklahoma City's first skyscraper, was converted from office space to a boutique hotel in 2006. Devon Energy, occupying space in five separate downtown buildings, revealed plans in August 2008 for a new 1,900,000-square-foot, 925-foot -tall skyscraper at the corner of Sheridan and Hudson, a space planned for a "Galleria" mall under the Pei urban renewal plan; the building is expected to bring new life to the west side of downtown, which has seen less growth compared to Bricktown on the eastern edge and Midtown to the north. The Devon Tower, which became the tallest building in the state of Oklahoma at 844 feet, was completed in 2012. Other development projects, which are either in planning or have since been completed, include: $100 million in proposed improvements to the Ford Center were approved by voters in March 2008; the improvements allowed for offices and new locker rooms for the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team, new restaurants and bars, rooftop terraces, a new grand entrance, a family fun center.
Block 42 is a high-end condominium project offering luxury condos with a urban aesthetic. The project was completed in the summer of 2008; the Hill is a project with 200 town homes being built on a hill overlooking the Deep Deuce district and Bricktown. The project is under construction; the Triangle is a project by TAP Architecture that will include 700 loft units and retail space. The Central Avenue Villas. A new Hampton Inn and Suites in Bricktown; the area due south of the Chesapeake Energy Arena is anticipated to become OKC's latest downtown district following the long overdue move of the I-40 Crosstown bridge, in the process of being completed as of 2013. The master plan for the "Core to Shore" area shows a boulevard running through downtown – where the original alignment of the Crosstown bridge was located, as well as a large new city park stretching from the Myriad Botanical Gardens down to the Oklahoma River, it is assumed that the Central Business District would be extended south, new highrise construction will take place there.
Bricktown is an entertainment district located on the east side of Downtown Oklahoma City. Before a recent renaissance, the area was a warehouse district. Today, it is bustling with restaurants, dance clubs, live music venues, upscale retail shops, offices. Top attractions include the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and a navigable Bricktown Canal, both the result of the city's MAPS projects; the Bricktown Canal stretches one mile through the district toward to a new park past the Oklahoma Land Run Monument. When completed, the Land Run Monument will be a series of 77 giant statues stretching over an area the size of two football fields on the south canal, will be one of the largest sculptural monuments in the world. Lower Bricktown boasts a brand-new 16-screen movie complex run by Harkins Theatres, a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, a Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill theme restaurant, a Red Pin Bowling Lounge, several upscale retail establishments and restaurants; the Centennial on the Canal is Bricktown's first new residential construction, contains three levels of high-end condos with retail on the canal and street levels.
The area includes the
Oklahoma City National Memorial
The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a memorial in the United States that honors the victims, survivors and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. The memorial is located in downtown Oklahoma City on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, destroyed in the 1995 bombing; this building was located on NW 5th Street between N. Harvey Avenue; the national memorial was authorized on October 9, 1997, by President Bill Clinton's signing of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Act of 1997. It was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places the same day; the memorial is administered by Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, with National Park Service staff to help interpret the memorial for visitors. The National Memorial Museum and the Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism are components housed in the former Journal Record Building on the north side of the memorial grounds; the memorial was formally dedicated on April 2000: the fifth anniversary of the bombing.
The museum was dedicated and opened the following year on February 19. On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh parked a Ryder rental truck filled with explosives in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building; the resulting explosion destroyed the entire north face of the building. Months after the attack, Mayor Ron Norick appointed a task force to look into a creation of a permanent memorial where the Murrah building once stood; the Task Force called for'a symbolic outdoor memorial', a Memorial Museum, for creation of Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. Six hundred and twenty four designs were submitted for the memorial and on July 1997 a design by Butzer Design Partnership, which consists of husband and wife Hans and Torrey Butzer, was chosen. On October 1997, President Bill Clinton signed law creating the Oklahoma City National Memorial as a unit of the National Park Service to be operated by the Oklahoma City National Memorial Trust; the total cost of the memorial was $29.1 million.
The federal government appropriated $5 million for construction with the state of Oklahoma matching that amount. More than $17 million in private donations was raised. On April 19, 2000 the fifth anniversary of the attack, the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial was dedicated. On February 19, 2001 the Memorial Museum was dedicated. In 2004 it was transferred from the NPS to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, designating it an affiliated area of National Park System; the Oklahoma City National Memorial since its opening has seen over 4.4 million visitors to the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and 1.6 million visitors to the Memorial Museum. The Memorial has an average of 350,000 visitors per year; the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial consists of the following segments on 3.3 acres. The Gates of Time: Monumental twin bronze gates frame the moment of destruction – 9:02 – and mark the formal entrances to the Outdoor Memorial. 9:01, found on the eastern gate, represents the last moments of peace, while its opposite on the western gate, 9:03, represents the first moments of recovery.
Both time stamps are inscribed on the interior of the monument, facing each other and the Reflecting Pool. The outside of each gate bears this inscription: Reflecting Pool: A thin layer of water flows over polished black granite to form the pool, which runs east to west down the center of the Memorial on what was once Fifth Street. Although the pool is flowing, visitors are able to see a mirror image of themselves in the water. Visitors seeing their reflections are said to be seeing "someone changed forever by what happened here." Field of Empty Chairs: 168 empty chairs hand-crafted from glass and stone represent those who lost their lives, with a name etched in the glass base of each. They sit on the site; the chairs represent the empty chairs at the dinner tables of the victims' families. The chairs are arranged in nine rows to symbolize the nine floors of the building; the chairs are grouped according to the blast pattern, with the most chairs nearest the most damaged portion of the building.
The westernmost column of five chairs represents the five people who died but were not in the Murrah Building. The 19 smaller chairs represent. Three unborn children died along with their mothers, they are listed on their mothers' chairs beneath their mothers' names. Survivors' Wall: The only remaining original portions of the Murrah Building are the north and east walls, known as the Survivors' Wall; the Survivors' Wall includes several panels of granite salvaged from the Murrah Building itself, inscribed with the names of more than 600 survivors from the building and the surrounding area, many of whom were injured in the blast. The Survivor Tree: An American elm on the north side of the Memorial, this was the only shade tree in the parking lot across the street from the Murrah Building. Commuters arrived early to get one of the shady parking spots provided by its branches. Photos of Oklahoma City taken in the 1920s show the tree to be about 100 years old; the tree was taken for granted prior to the blast.
Damaged by the bomb, the tree survived after nearly being chopped down during the initial investigation, when
Midtown Oklahoma City
Midtown is located northwest of downtown Oklahoma City, surrounded by Automobile Alley to the east and Asia District to the north. It is home to smaller communities like Church Row, it is a 387-acre area with an estimated 3,501 residents. Midtown, like much of the inner city, is experiencing a renaissance as the city cleans out the blight and decay and replaces it with upscale urban amenities like the 5th Street and 10th Street streetscapes. According to MidtownOKC.com, a website provided by property owners and other leaders in Midtown's renaissance, the vision for Midtown is a response to the desire for urban lifestyle options in Oklahoma City. "Active pedestrian street life, including sidewalk cafes and locations utilized for outdoor events and festivals, creates an interactive and enjoyable public life... In this vision, a hip, energized urban population enjoys exceptional restaurants, stylish shops, first-rate art galleries, all located nearby." The vision for Midtown seems to be similar to the nearby Triangle District in downtown Oklahoma City, which considers the Live-Work-Play lifestyle to be the fundamental idea of the project.
The Cottage District, locally known as "SOSA", is an eclectic residential area within Midtown containing several examples of excellent architecture. There are notable construction projects going in Midtown, including numerous local eateries and new housing. Midtown Renaissance official website SoSA subset neighborhood website
The Boathouse District is a row of boathouses and attractions along the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City. The Boathouse District offers activities such as recreational and elite rowing and kayaking, fitness facilities, private event spaces and RIVERSPORT Adventures, an outdoor adventure park; the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, which manages the Boathouse District, has been named a U. S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site by the U. S. Olympic Committee; the development of the Boathouse District began with the early 1990s revitalization of the seven-mile section of the North Canadian River that runs through Oklahoma City. As rowing gained popularity in Oklahoma City on Lake Overholser, it was discovered that the Oklahoma River would be a perfect waterway for rowing; the Oklahoma Association of Rowing began a grassroots effort to build a boathouse along the shores of the Oklahoma River. Aubrey McClendon and Clay Bennett soon took interest in the project and secured funding for the multimillion-dollar boathouse.
The first boathouse in the Boathouse District, the Chesapeake Boathouse, was built in 2006. The Devon Boathouse was completed in 2010, followed by the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower in 2011; the CHK|Central Boathouse is under construction and is scheduled to open in spring 2015. Plans for the University of Oklahoma Boathouse are underway; the Chesapeake Boathouse, built in 2006, was the first structure on the newly revitalized Oklahoma River. Today it serves as the community boathouse on the river; the design is the vision of Oklahoma City architect Rand Elliott with primary funding for the project provided by Chesapeake Energy Corporation. The design of the Chesapeake Boathouse represents a sleek rowing shell with translucent polycarbonate walls offering a dramatic nighttime image of the building “floating” above the river. Sixteen columns of light representing oars highlight the reflecting pool at the “bow” of the building. Features of the $3.5 million facility include: Deck and event room for receptions and meetings Boat bays to store up to 124 rowing shells A panoramic 24-ft.
Wall of glass overlooking the deck and reflecting pool Event room with a 62-foot window revealing the boat bays Fully equipped fitness/training room overlooking the river The Devon Boathouse is the home of Oklahoma City University Rowing and Canoe/Kayak and headquarters for the OKC National High Performance Center. The OKC National High Performance Center provides training opportunities for Olympic hopefuls in both rowing and canoe/kayak. Designed for OCU by Rand Elliott, Elliott & Associates Architects, the Devon Boathouse is one in a series of iconic boathouses in the Boathouse District at the Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City, its dramatic architecture creates a striking image against the backdrop of Oklahoma City’s downtown skyline and creates the impression of the boathouse’s “prow” breaking the river’s edge. Soaring spaces created by glass and polycarbonate walls are flooded with natural light and include a two-story boat bay and the Ann Lacy Event Center. Expansive windows offer unobstructed views of the Oklahoma River and a second story balcony overlooks the boat bay ramps and docks.
Blue LED lights accent the exterior of the boathouse at night, adding to the dramatic images of the Chesapeake Boathouse and OGE Together Lightscape on the river. The Chesapeake Finish Line Tower was designed by Oklahoma architect Rand Elliott; the 60 foot tower is visible from Interstate 35. The 7,500 square foot building has four levels; these include a welcome center, finish line jury/timing seats, commentary/media/race control and a VIP Viewing Gallery and observation deck. The Chesapeake Finish Line Tower has the newest in race technology and meets the standards for both FISA, the international governing body for rowing, the International Canoe Federation; the finish line for the Oklahoma River is attached to the tower itself and is graphically represented on nearby sidewalks and inside the building as a continuous red line. Outside, terraced seating is provided for spectators to have an outdoor view of the finish line; the CHK|Central Boathouse serves as home to the University of Central Oklahoma’s women’s rowing team.
It includes a live music venue and an art gallery, establishing it as a unique presence “where art meets the river” in the Boathouse District at the Oklahoma River. The CHK|Central Boathouse opened in April 2015 and is the newest boathouse in the Boathouse District. Plans for the University of Oklahoma Boathouse, home to the OU Women’s NCAA Division I program, are underway; the facility has received $2 million in funding as part of a $12.5 million donation to support OU academics and athletics from Aubrey and Kathleen McClendon. RIVERSPORT Rapids is rafting center; the $45.6 million project is funded by MAPS 3, a temporary voter-approved sales tax increase. RIVERSPORT Adventures is a non-profit outdoor adventure park in Oklahoma City, it is home to the SandRidge Sky Zip, Sky Trail and Rumble Drop, along with recreational kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and many other adventures
Bricktown, Oklahoma City
Bricktown is an entertainment district just east of downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was a major warehouse district; the major attractions of the district are the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, the navigable Bricktown Canal, the 16-screen Harkins movie theatre. Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill is located in Bricktown, as is the corporate headquarters of Sonic Drive-In. Bricktown Entertainment District includes some 50 square city blocks bounded between the Oklahoma River on the south, I-235 on the east, Deep Deuce District to the North, the Oklahoma City Central Business District to the West; the general boundary of the Bricktown Core Development District is as follows: An area bordered by the BNSF Railway. The district is administered by the Bricktown Urban Design Committee, established by the City of Oklahoma City to oversee modifications to the buildings and new construction within the district. Downtown Oklahoma City Inc. is charged with maintenance and operations of the district and oversees promotion alongside the Oklahoma City Tourism and Visitors Bureau.
All entities are united with the ultimate goal of preserving Bricktown's historic'warehouse district' flavor while allowing modern entertainment, commercial and residential development to flourish. Four railroad companies had freight operations east of the Santa Fe tracks in what is now Bricktown in the late 19th and early 20th century; the first brick structures, which were only one or two stories, appeared between 1898 and 1903. Larger brick buildings were constructed between 1903 and 1911, the tallest brick buildings were built between 1911 and 1930. Working class houses were built nearby. Oklahoma City's first black newspaper, the Black Dispatch, was located in Bricktown at 228 E. First. In that area was the first local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, founded in the early 20th century to work for the civil rights of African Americans; the decline of the area began with the onset of the Great Depression, which diminished businesses in the area. The growth of eastern suburbs and subsidized highways during and after World War II attracted many residents to newer housing.
Railroads restructured and freight traffic moved to trucks and highways. By 1980, Bricktown had become a cluster of abandoned buildings. In the 1990s, mayor Ron Norick persuaded Oklahoma City residents to approve a series of tax incentives to lure new businesses, but these were not sufficient. A visit to Indianapolis, which had beat the city in a competition for a new airline maintenance plant, led him to believe that Oklahoma City needed a vibrant downtown, it lacked the range of amenities to attract more residents and visitors. Along with Greater Oklahoma City Chamber President Ray Ackerman and their staffs developed the Metropolitan Area Projects or MAPS, which approval led to the construction of the Bricktown ballpark and a tree-lined, mile-long canal through the district, as well as other projects in downtown; the ballpark opened in 1998 and the canal opened in July 1999. Water taxis carry visitors to different stops along the canal, including many restaurants and nightclubs; the district contains a number of public sculptures and murals, including a monument to the Oklahoma Land Run.
An annual Bricktown Art Festival is held in mid-July. The Centennial Land Run Monument, a large bronze sculpture by artist Paul Moore, is at the south end of Bricktown Canal, it commemorates the Land Run of 1889, which marked the opening of the Unassigned Lands area to settlement. This area is now a city park, open 24 hours a day, year round, there is no admission fee. Amtrak's Heartland Flyer service to Fort Worth departs every morning from the old Santa Fe Depot, located by the west entrance to Bricktown, returns in the evenings. Case, J. I. Plow Works BuildingAvery BuildingBricktown Official Website Voices of Oklahoma interview with Ray Ackerman. First person interview conducted with Ray Ackerman on September 30, 2009. Original audio and transcript archived with Voices of Oklahoma oral history project. Bricktown Urban Design Committee
Oklahoma City shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the U. S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city ranks 27th among United States cities in population; the population grew following the 2010 Census, with the population estimated to have increased to 643,648 as of July 2017. As of 2015, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area had a population of 1,358,452, the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,459,758 residents, making it Oklahoma's largest metropolitan area. Oklahoma City's city limits extend into Canadian and Pottawatomie counties, though much of those areas outside the core Oklahoma County area are suburban or rural; the city ranks as the ninth-largest city in the United States by total area when including consolidated city-counties. Lying in the Great Plains region, Oklahoma City has one of the world's largest livestock markets. Oil, natural gas, petroleum products and related industries are the largest sector of the local economy.
The city is in the middle of an active oil field and oil derricks dot the capitol grounds. The federal government employs large numbers of workers at Tinker Air Force Base and the United States Department of Transportation's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. Oklahoma City is on the I-35 Corridor, one of the primary travel corridors south into neighboring Texas and Mexico and north towards Wichita and Kansas City. Located in the state's Frontier Country region, the city's northeast section lies in an ecological region known as the Cross Timbers; the city was founded during the Land Run of 1889 and grew to a population of over 10,000 within hours of its founding. The city was the scene of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in which 168 people died, it was the deadliest terror attack in the history of the United States until the attacks of September 11, 2001, remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U. S. history. Since the time weather records have been kept, Oklahoma City has been struck by thirteen strong tornadoes.
Since 2008, Oklahoma City has been home to the National Basketball Association's Oklahoma City Thunder, who play their home basketball games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City was settled on April 22, 1889, when the area known as the "Unassigned Lands" was opened for settlement in an event known as "The Land Run"; some 10,000 homesteaders settled the area. The town grew quickly. Early leaders of the development of the city included Anton Classen, John Shartel, Henry Overholser and James W. Maney. By the time Oklahoma was admitted to the Union in 1907, Oklahoma City had surpassed Guthrie, the territorial capital, as the new state's population center and commercial hub. Soon after, the capital was moved from Guthrie to Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City was a major stop on Route 66 during the early part of the 20th century. Before World War II, Oklahoma City developed major stockyards, attracting jobs and revenue in Chicago and Omaha, Nebraska. With the 1928 discovery of oil within the city limits, Oklahoma City became a major center of oil production.
Post-war growth accompanied the construction of the Interstate Highway System, which made Oklahoma City a major interchange as the convergence of I-35, I-40, I-44. It was aided by federal development of Tinker Air Force Base. In 1950, the Census Bureau reported city's population as 8.6 % 90.7 % white. Patience Latting was elected Mayor of Oklahoma City in 1971. Latting was the first woman to serve as mayor of a U. S. city with over 350,000 residents. Like many other American cities, center city population declined in the 1970s and 1980s as families followed newly constructed highways to move to newer housing in nearby suburbs. Urban renewal projects in the 1970s, including the Pei Plan, removed older structures but failed to spark much new development, leaving the city dotted with vacant lots used for parking. A notable exception was the city's construction of the Myriad Gardens and Crystal Bridge, a botanical garden and modernistic conservatory in the heart of downtown. Architecturally significant historic buildings lost to clearances were the Criterion Theater, the Baum Building, the Hales Building, the Biltmore Hotel.
In 1993, the city passed a massive redevelopment package known as the Metropolitan Area Projects, intended to rebuild the city's core with civic projects to establish more activities and life to downtown. The city added a new baseball park. Water taxis transport passengers within the district, adding activity along the canal. MAPS has become one of the most successful public-private partnerships undertaken in the U. S. exceeding $3 billion in private investment as of 2010. As a result of MAPS, the population living in downtown housing has exponentially increased, together with demand for additional residential and retail amenities, such as grocery and shops. Since the MAPS projects' completion, the downtown area has seen continued
Deep Deuce historic neighborhood is a district in Downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was home to Zelia Breaux's Aldridge Theater and Dr. W. H. Slaughter's Slaughter Building his Cove Pharmacy and Slaughter's Hall in it. Author Ralph Waldo Ellison was raised in the area until after his father died and wrote about the neighborhood, it now consists of low-rise apartment buildings and vacant mixed-use buildings and shops. Located a few blocks north of Bricktown and centered on NE 2nd Street, Deep Deuce was a regional center of jazz music and black culture and commerce during the 1920s and 1930s and the largest African-American downtown neighborhood in Oklahoma City in the 1940s and 1950s. Notable musicians that contributed to the rich jazz history of Deep Deuce includes singer Jimmy Rushing and jazz guitarist Charlie Christian, the famous Blue Devils, Count Basie, Gonzelle White, King Oliver's bands as well as Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and Mamie Smith. After the civil rights movement of the 1960s, much of the city's African-American community dispersed to other areas within Oklahoma City.
Much of the neighborhood was bulldozed to make way for I-235 in the 1980s, but the current downtown boom and renaissance has made the area attractive to developers once again. Little of the neighborhood's original character remains today; as of March 2014, The Oklahoman reported that the area had only one remaining African-American owned business. African-American writer Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man, wrote a poem in tribute to the Deep Deuce in 1953; the area held a great passion for him and was where he had his first job in 1953. The poem can be found in the posthumous book Trading Twelves; the city's first theater for African Americans, Aldridge Theater was built in 1920. It hosted vaudeville and films was an African-American theatre which presented vaudeville as well as movies and was part of the TOBA chain of African American owned theaters. Gonzelle White and her band that included Count Basie played the venue. From the 1940s it continued as a cinema. Haywood Building Calvary Baptist Church