Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Skirvin Hilton Preview

Related Files: Skirvin History, Skirvin Hilton: The Day Before, and Grand Reopening.

Edited Note on 2/23/2007: I got a really nice 2nd pre-opening visit today (Friday), courtesy again of Dan Mahoney, 3 days before the Monday Grand Opening! Click here to go to the new 2/23/07 pics. But, also, Dan Mahoney has set up a very special website on the historic and current Skirvin ... lots of stuff I've never seen before ... to go there, click here. Most of those images are included in my "Day Before" post.

The official opening of the Skirvin Hilton is scheduled for Monday, February 26, 2007!!! YEA!!! YEA!!! YEA!!! HOO-AHH!!!

And, OOOHHH! What a long time coming! The Skirvin has not been open since it doors were closed in 1989, now 18 years ago. But, the citizens of Oklahoma City would NOT let this historic part of Oklahoma City go and the property was acquired by the City of Oklahoma City in 2002 with a view toward revitalizing this magnificent, even if dormant, piece of our city's heritage, dating back to 1911. For more about that history, see my earlier post on the Skirvin. To see the hotel's website, click here.


Now, it's almost all done ... and Oklahoma Citians and their visitors are about to be treated in a way that will hopefully knock their socks off! This project has been done well ... Flintco, the general contractor (a Native American company, by the way) and the subcontractors appear to being doing the job superbly well!

But, what about the "inside?"

On Friday, 1/26/2007, it was Doug Dawgz most excellent adventure to take a tour of the soon-to-reopen Skirvin as the Skirvin Hilton, thanks to Dan Mahoney, Public Relations Consultant for the Skirvin Hilton (I think I've got his title "right")! Dan works with the Gooden Group public relations firm, and, YES! I got permission to use any pics I took IMMEDIATELY! HOO-AH!!!

Click here to go straight to the 56 pics and skip this intro!

By way of introduction, here's the outside of was my privelege to see on the inside yesterday ...


As has been plainly visible on the outside for many months now, the workmanship on restoring the Skirvin's exterior has been absolutely outstanding, complete with restoring the Skirvin's original facade in "replacing new lamps for old", so to speak, even though the "new" lamps are identical to the "old" ... and doubtless this was done at no small expense.

The fake facade has been removed and the original moulding and windows have been repaired and restored. Here' a pic showing the facade ... I'm not sure when it was added, perhaps during a 1972 remodeling ...


... and the one below shows the restoration in process ...

Click on the pics below for a larger view



... as well as adding a grand entrance to the Skirvin Hilton's ballrooms ... this pic taken 8/8/2006 ...


But, what lies "inside" the new Skirvin Hilton??? Here you have it, a scoop from Doug Dawgz Blog!

THE TOUR

Thanks again to Dan Mahoney with the Gooden Group public relations firm for his amazing offer to give me this tour yesterday, Friday, January 26! He was nothing but wonderful!

Below are 56 pics taken during my tour. In all that follows, small images (490 px wide) are shown, but you can click on any image for a much larger pic, usually 1024 px wide, which will open in a separate window.

Work was still progressing on the exterior when I arrived, as you can see from the 3 pics below ...







Entering from Park Avenue, that "good wood" we rememember from days gone by is still there and being made better than ever! Have a look "UP"!
(I understand that lighting fixtures will be one of the last things to be installed, so don't look for such things in this tour.)







On The 1st Floor, Looking West Toward The Red Piano Lounge



The Upscale Red Piano Lounge At Broadway & Park Avenue





Looking East Through The Good Wood





Through those magnificent portlals lies the hotel's restaurant, the Park Avenue Grill. Notice the beautiful original tile work which was added during the 1930 expansion - see Bob Blackburn's fine article - most of which had been hidden in subsequent remodelings ... and some of which had to be re-created ...











Back Toward The Elevators And Some Fine Original Craftmanship ...

Is This Alfalfa Bill Murray?



Is This A Leprechaun Or Some Other Of Murray's Mischevious Relatives?



Elegant Elevator Doors And Mail Box ...







2nd Floor Balcony Overlooking The Entry





Walking North To The Ballroom Entry (From Broadway),
An Elegant Double Staircase Leads To The Ballroom Level





The Main Ballroom And Recently Arrived Carpet







The Smaller Ballroom



A Preconference Area



Top Floor While Approaching The Venetian Ballroom
(I think that's where this is ... I wasn't taking notes)



Inside The Venetian Ballroom





Close-up Of Ceiling Moulding



A Lounge On The 14th Floor



A Small "Sitting" Area On The 14th Floor



Other Work In Progress On The 14th Floor





On The 11th Floor (I think)
Notice The Wide Hallways



A Typical Room (this one with adjoinging room possibility)



Another Typical Room On The 11th Floor



View From Room Looking North On Broadway



Mouldings In A Typical Room



A Typical Bath



A Better Bath



The Presidential Suite

I think that Dan said that, in this one, flick the switch on a mirror and it turns into a plasma TV! It was not in place for Doug Dawgz tour, however!







A Regular Suite - Couches Will Conform To The Wall's "Bend"







Suite With A Bricktown View



In The Basement, Hotel Office Space, Workout Areas, & Water





Hallway Connecting To The Conncourse Tunnel System Looking West

>

Basement Hot Tub - Workout Areas Are Nearby



Swimming Pool - Shaped Something Like Oklahoma




Friday, 2/23/2007, Pics

Thanks to Dan Mahoney, I got a 2nd opportunity to have a look inside the Skirvin Hilton - not an extensive tour like above but great just the same. PLUS, Doug Dawg was interviewed by Channel 9's Doug Warner - look for me on Monday morning at or after 7:00 a.m.! Cooool!

Here are the new pics ... click on any pic for a larger view ...

Outside the Ballroom Entry



Views of the Staircases and Entry











A Plasma TV In Every Room!



The Main Ballroom As Work Continues





Channel 9's Doug Warner Prepares To Interview Doug Dawg!



Along The 2nd Floor Balcony (Park Ave Side)



Have A Seat In These Babies!


And there you have it -- plan to be at the Skirvin for the great Grand Opening on Monday, February 26, at NOON! And, thanks again, Dan Mahoney, for Two Great Dawgz Days!

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14 comments:

Anonymous said...

A personal preview tour?!? You lucky DAWG!

shane

Doug Dawg said...

Yep. You can call me Lucky Dawg! Hoo-ahh!

Jason said...

Hehe, Lucky Dawg. Hope you are enjoying your tour today. I can't wait to see the inside myself. Did they say there would be a public tour during the grand opening?

Doug Dawg said...

YEA, it was a GREAT tour! I'm in the process of revising this post to include aobut 54 or so pics ...

But more importantly t5o your post, there will apparently be a magnificent "grand opening" ceremony on 2/26/07, open to the whole city ... an electric day ... you gotta be there.

Now, I've got to get back to revising this post to include about 54 or so images from today's tour ... I am so small and Okc is so great!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics, Doug. Thanks!

Patrick Horn

Anonymous said...

I can't believe they'll be done with this in a month... Look how much work they still have to do! It's going to be like the middle 20 minutes of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" when they panic about not getting done in time.

Can't wait to eat at Park Avenue Grill, not to mention stay a night at the Skirvin! How fantastic... This is just an incredible hotel. Look at those elevators. Classy. The suites with the curved walls are neat. The Okie pool is a nice touch too, haha.

Looking at all these ballrooms and meeting space... The Skirvin is going to be the premiere place for any kind of event... Could give the Petroleum Club a good run for its money!

Shane

Jason said...

Yes, I will be there for sure!

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys... I moved here From Alabama and my First day of Employment is the 12th of Feb and the Famous Hilton Skirvin.. I cant wait.. it is going to be grand and wonderful.. Hope to see all ya'll there on opening date

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, anon! I'll see you there!

Paul L. McCord Jr. said...

Thanks for the pictures. This is an awesome Hotel. It is nice to see Oklahoma City growing. By the way, I love your posts on hornetscentral.com

Paul

Doug Dawg said...

You're welcome, Paul! Appreciate your comments!

Anonymous said...

Great Pictures. You have enticed us now with the pics so I think this is a HAVE TO BE THERE EVENT tomorrow. My husband works for Devon and his office looks directly out so he has been watching this hotel be renovated. It is so beautiful. Can't wait to spend a night there and try out the Park Ave Grill.

Anonymous said...

Doug,
Is the grand opening open to the public in general. Would love to be there if it is. It starts at noon, right?
Thanks

Doug Dawg said...

Yes, it's open to the public. It starts at noon with some outside activities (Park Ave) of some sort and I think then moves inside. I don't have a schedule, though.