Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tall Buildings

Edited 4/16/2008 to add the Midwest Building


Jump to Tall Buildings Not Done
Jump To Tall Buildings Which Might Be Done

With last week's announcement by Devon Energy Company, one might start thinking about Oklahoma City skyscrapers, "tall buildings" (Doug Dawg did, anyway). How will the new building match up, and, in fact, how tall are other buildings in Oklahoma City, and where are they located? What once-fine buildings no longer exist? In this project, I've drawn much of the data from Emporis.com ... High Rise Buildings and Low Rise Buildings. But, not all ... a few of the buildings shown below are not in the Emporis database (e.g., the Plaza Court Hotel in Midtown on Shartel).

Another which is not in the Emporis list, probably because it lacks 8 "working" floors, is the Oklahoma State Capitol, shown here.
Is there more to come, soon? Steve Lackmeyer whets our collective appetite again today in Downtown investment trend not at an end. Among other things, he says,
This is turning out to be quite a month for downtown Oklahoma City.

March is just halfway through, yet the ramifications of announcements this month outweigh the entire expanse of the city's original MAPS projects.
* * *
So let's take a deep breath. Have we seen the last big announcement for downtown? Don't count on it.
He is such a tease!

Back in the days of the Pei Plan ... the Urban Renewal masterplan for turning downtown Oklahoma City around in the early 1960s ... plenty of general and specific proposals were made ... some happened but many did not. Click here to jump to, "Tall Buildings That Might Have Been."

For this review, I arbitrarily set the threshold at 8 floors for "tall buildings" ... even though that excluded several vintage as well as many new buildings by that choice. Even then, I did "fudge" by including the Aberdeen Apartments ... it has 7 ground level floors but a full basement, so I gave it a 7.5 and included it just because I wanted to! Otherwise, the vintage and still standing Pioneer Building, at 7 stories and when built in 1908 said to be Oklahoma City's first high-rise, the 7 floor 1922 Osler Building in Midtown, and several others, were excluded.

My "personal favorite" that didn't make the 8 floor threshold requirement is this one, Signature Place, at MacArthur & Northwest Expressway ... though I'd like it better if it didn't have "rent me" banners hanging out front uglifying the architecture.

Using 8 floors as the cutoff, here's what I've come up with ... for buildings which once existed, do now, and as have been announced or are in progress as this is written. When this post is finally done, it will also include buildings which were proposed but never happened, and for that I'll draw heavily on Steve Lackmeyer & Jack Money's masterpiece, OKC: 2nd Time Around.

In the table below, click the link or the miniature image for a look at the building and, sometimes, additional information about it.

Oklahoma City Buildings 8 Stories or More
SummaryIncl
Is &
Gone
Those
Gone
Those
Developing
As
Will
Be
 Downtown5516241
 Midtown3102
 Northwest270027
 Northeast80311
 Southeast0000
 Southwest2002

1Devon Tower
Floors: 54
Date: 2012
Where: Downtown
Status: Developing
2Chase Tower
Floors: 36
Date: 1971
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
31st National
Floors: 33
Date: 1931
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
4City Place
Floors: 33
Date: 1931
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
5Oklahoma Tower
Floors: 31
Date: 1982
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
6Sandridge Tower (Kerr-McGee)
Floors: 30
Date: 1973
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
7Biltmore Hotel
Floors: 26
Date: 1932
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
8Regency Tower
Floors: 24
Date: 1966
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
9Leadership Square North
Floors: 22
Date: 1984
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
10Valliance Tower
Floors: 22
Date: 1984
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
11The Classen
Floors: 21
Date: 1967
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
12360 at Founders Plaza
Floors: 20
Date: 1963
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
13Mid-America Tower
Floors: 19
Date: 1980
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
14Dowell Center
Floors: 18
Date: 1927
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
15Gold Star Library - OCU
Floors: 18
Date: 1954
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
16Union Plaza
Floors: 18
Date: 1982
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
17Park Harvey Apartments
Floors: 17
Date: 1956
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
1850 Penn Place
Floors: 16
Date: 1973
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
19AT&T (SW Bell)
Floors: 16
Date: 1928
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
20BOK Plaza (Fidelity)
Floors: 16
Date: 1972
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
21Leadership Square South
Floors: 16
Date: 1984
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
22Globe Life
Floors: 15
Date: 1957
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
23Lakeview Towers
Floors: 15
Date: ???
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
24OKC Marriott
Floors: 15
Date: 1985
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
25Marriott Renaissance Hotel
Floors: 15
Date: 2000
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
26Sheraton Oklahoma Hotel
Floors: 15
Date: 1976
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
27AT&T Annex (Southwetsern Bell)
Floors: 15
Date: ???
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
28101 Park Avenue (Skirvin Tower)
Floors: 14
Date: 1932
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
291st National Additions
Floors: 14
Date: 1957 &
1972
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
30Colcord Hotel
Floors: 14
Date: 1910
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
31Corporate Tower
Floors: 14
Date: 1980
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
32Oklahoma County Jail
Floors: 14
Date: 1991
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
33Oklahoman Building
Floors: 14
Date: 1991
Where: Northeast
Status: Existing
34Auto Hotel
Floors: 13
Date: ???
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
35Oil Center East
Floors: 13
Date: 1973
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
36Oil Center West
Floors: 13
Date: 1978
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
37Skirvin Hilton Hotel
Floors: 13
Date: 1910
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
38100 Park Avenue (Medical Arts)
Floors: 12
Date: 1923
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
39Children's Physicians Building
Floors: 12
Date: 2009
Where: Northeast
Status: Developing
40Herskowitz Building
Floors: 12
Date: 1910
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
41Marie McGuire Plaza
Floors: 12
Date: 1972
Where: Northeast
Status: Existing
42OG&E
Floors: 12
Date: 1928
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
43OK Health Department
Floors: 12
Date: ???
Where: Northeast
Status: Existing
44Robinson Renaissance (Perrine)
Floors: 12
Date: 1927
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
45St. Anthony Hospital
Floors: 12
Date: 1899
Where: Midtown
Status: Existing
46Tiffany House Apartments
Floors: 12
Date: ???
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
47City Center Building
Floors: 11
Date: 1921
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
48County Courthouse
Floors: 11
Date: 1937
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
49Integris Baptist Hospital
Floors: 11
Date: ???
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
50Integris Southwest Hospital
Floors: 11
Date: 1969
Where: Southwest
Status: Existing
51Kingkade Hotel
Floors: 11
Date: 1912
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
52One North Hudson
Floors: 11
Date: 1930
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
53Physicians & Surgeons
Floors: 12
Date: ???
Where: Northeast
Status: Existing
54VA Medical Center
Floors: 11
Date: 1931
Where: Northeast
Status: Existing
55YWCA
Floors: 11
Date: 1931
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
56324 Building (Braniff)
Floors: 10
Date: 1923
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
575100 N. Brookline
Floors: 10
Date: 1974
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
58Plaza Court Hotel
Floors: 10
Date: 1960
Where: Midtown
Status: Destroyed
59Campbell Building
Floors: 10
Date: 1910
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
60Classen Center East
Floors: 10
Date: 1965
Where: Northhwest
Status: Existing
61Commerce Exchange
Floors: 10
Date: 1920s
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
62Country Inn & Suites
Floors: 10
Date: 2001?
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
63Court Plaza (Cotton Exchange)
Floors: 10
Date: 1923
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
64Everett Tower
Floors: 10
Date: 1973
Where: Northeast
Status: Existing
65Hales Building (State National)
Floors: 10
Date: 1910
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
66Caliber Center (Hertz)
Floors: 10
Date: 1973
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
67Hightower
Floors: 10
Date: 1929
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
68Character First (Holiday Inn)
Floors: 10
Date: 1964
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
69Landmark Towers Center
Floors: 10
Date: 1970
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
70Landmark Towers East
Floors: 10
Date: 1965
Where: Northhwest
Status: Existing
71Landmark Towers West
Floors: 10
Date: 1972
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
72Lee Huckins Hotel
Floors: 10
Date: 1910
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
73Main Place (Harbour Longmire)
Floors: 10
Date: 1923
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
74Mercy Health Center
Floors: 10
Date: 1974
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
75Midwest Building
Floors: 10
Date: 1930
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
Credit Jeff Chapman
76OK DEQ (SW Bell)
Floors: 10
Date: 1957
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
77OK Savings & Loan
Floors: 10
Date: 1928
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
78Roberts Hotel
Floors: 10
Date: 1927
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
79Robinson Plaza (IRS)
Floors: 10
Date: 1992
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
80Biomedical Sciences Building
Floors: 9
Date: ???
Where: Northeast
Status: Existing
81Classen Center North
Floors: 9
Date: 1969
Where: Northhwest
Status: Existing
82Crowne Plaza Hotel
Floors: 9
Date: 1970
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
83Hampton Inn
Floors: 9
Date: 2008
Where: Downtown
Status: Developing
84Integris Baptist Building B
Floors: 9
Date: ???
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
85Murrah Federal Building
Floors: 9
Date: 1977
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
86US Bankruptcy Court (Post Office)
Floors: 9
Date: 1932
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
87Waterford Marriott Hotel
Floors: 9
Date: 1984
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
88American National Bank
Floors: 8
Date: 1909
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
89Cancer Research Center
Floors: 9
Date: 2010
Where: Northeast
Status: Developing
90Courtyard Marriott Hotel
Floors: 8
Date: 2004
Where: Downtown
Status: Existing
91Halliburton's
Floors: 8
Date: 1920
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
92Insurance Building
Floors: 8
Date: 1910
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
93Integris Baptist Building C
Floors: 8
Date: ???
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
94Integris Baptist Building D
Floors: 8
Date: ???
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
95Lawrence Hotel
Floors: 8
Date: 1912
Where: Downtown
Status: Destroyed
96OK Medical Research Tower
Floors: 8
Date: 2010?
Where: Northeast
Status: Developing
97One Behnam Place
Floors: 8
Date: 1983
Where: Northeast
Status: Existing
98Presbyterian Tower
Floors: 8
Date: 1974
Where: Northeast
Status: Existing
99Western Tower
Floors: 8
Date: ???
Where: Southwest
Status: Existing
100Aberdeen Apartments
Floors: 7-8
Date: 1927
Where: Northwest
Status: Existing
101What's Next?
Floors: ???
Date: ???
Where: ???
Status: Coming Soon

Tall Buildings Not Done. In their book, OKC: 2nd Time Around, Steve Lackmeyer & Jack Money laid out in magnificent form and content the downtown time zone of the mid-1950s through 2007 ... how we got from there to here. I say again that if you don't already own a copy of this excellent book, you're missing out, big-time!

Fueled by 1959 authorizing legislation at the state level, Oklahoma City established its Urban Renewal Authority in 1962. Internationally well regarded urban planner I.M. Pei came on board and what is commonly known as the "Pei Plan" came to exist. Its sweeping plan involved the destruction of about 2/5 of downtown Oklahoma City, largely on and south of Main, from east to west, and replacing the destroyed buildings with something that dreams are made of!

Thanks is given to Steve Lackmeyer for permission to post the following images ... all are contained in OKC: 2nd Time Around ... click on any image for a larger view.

The 1st image below appears at page 14 of OKC: 2nd Time. If you look closely, you'll see an irregular "gray line" running from the lower right to the upper left and that buildings below that line are a bit darker than those above it. In the 2nd version, below, I've doctored it a bit to highlight the "line" and add names of some of the "tall buildings" that either (1) were marked for destruction and were destroyed, or (2) in the case of the Perrine (Robinson Renaissance) was marked but was spared, or (3) in the case of the Biltmore was not marked for destruction but was.

Credit OKC: 2nd Time and OCURA




The "destruction" phase of the Pei Plan was "successfully" accomplished. The general vision of what would be replacing them is somewhat reflected in the following image which appears at page 10 of OKC: 2nd Time Around:

Credit Okc2nd Time, Greater Okc Chamber of Commerce (COC)
From Left:James T. Yielding, 1st Executive Director of OCURA, I.M. Pei,
and Ralph L. Bolen, Chairman of the OCURA Board of Commissioners

The City of Tomorrow


Of course, the Oil Bust, the Penn Square Bank failure and the resulting bank closing domino effect in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and beyond, marked the death knell of the grand design. The Galleria Shopping area became a parking lot ... but much of it will now become the Devon Tower. To be sure, several new buildings did spring to life before bad times hit, e.g., Myriad Gardens & Convention Center, Corporate Tower, Oklahoma Tower, Kerr-McGee Tower (Sandridge today), Sheraton Hotel, Mid-America Tower, Leadership Square, Liberty Tower (Chase today), and so much good did come of it, even thought not as much as expected.

OKC: 2nd Time Around contains several eye-candy images of some of the things which were planned but never saw the light of day, shown below.

High Rise Apartments
Credit OKC: 2nd Time and OCURA



Galleria Shopping Mall North of "Tivoli" (renamed Myriad) Gardens
Credit OKC: 2nd Time and OCURA



14 Floor Expansion of Skirvin Tower (101 Park Avenue)
Credit OKC: 2nd Time and Greater OKC Chamber of Commerce


Ron Burks became one of the owners of the Skirvin in 1979, along with Bill Jennings, John Kilpatrick, Jr., Bob Lammerts, Jerry Richardson, Dub Ross, and Joe Dann Trigg. See Bob Blackburn's article, A Tradition of Elegance. According to Steve and Jacks' book, and if I interpret it correctly, Burk was principally responsible for opening up the Skirvin lobby (to make it 2 open stories instead of 1), the purchase of a new chandeliers from Europe, and other stuff. At one time, he also owned the downtown Holiday Inn. See pp. 72-73 of Steve and Jacks' book. But Burks wanted more ...

Ron Burks' Office Tower By The Skirvin
Credit OKC: 2nd Time and Howard & Porch



Ron Burks' Hilton Hotel By Myriad Gardens
Credit OKC: 2nd Time and Howard & Porch


Tall Buildings That Might Yet Be. A few others have been identified as possibly being "in the works" ... when a construction contract is signed, I'll move any of them to the "current" table ... but, till then, I consider them as possibilities and uncertain.

Overholser Green. Of the things shown here, this one appears to be the most likely. This Midtown project which calls for development of the block bounded by NW 13th, NW 12th, Walker and Dewey, has, in fact, been approved by OCURA.


This December 6, 2007, article by Steve Lackmeyer says that the project includes,
109 condominiums built in a series of four-to-eight-story buildings above an approximately 220-space garage.

The developer is Wiggin Properties, which owns the 101 Park Ave. building and is converting the Mayo office building in downtown Tulsa into housing.
Although Wiggin Properties has said that construction will start by July 2008 and will include an 8 story hotel, I guess that my "Missouri-Show-Me" side is showing on this one. For lively discussion about this project, see this thread at OkMet.org and this one at OkcTalk.com.

Cotton Exchange. This proposed project would include a 12 story element and will require the approval of the Bricktown Design Committee (and land acquisition), would be located next to the Bricktown Ballpark on Reno.




While this may happen, it is by no means a "done deal." See this thread at OkcTalk.com and this one at OkMet.org for more.

Go To Top

14 comments:

Braden said...

What about the Cotton Exchange building that's suppose to be in Bricktown too? Isn't it listed at a proposed 12 stories?

Doug Dawg said...

Yes, I think you're right. I'll see what I can find. Thanks!

Doug Dawg said...

Braden, on further look, the Cotton Exchange plan still seems up in the air. While I've included the Devon project in the list, I guess that I think it's less speculative, even though I may be wrong. I'll add a section later for "Things Not Done," and will add the Cotton Exchange project there.

Clint said...

How many stories is the Arvest bank professional building in Del City. It kind of looks like it might be 8 stories.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks for the heads up, Clint. I checked Emporis and it shows the bank as 7 floors.

Shane Hampton said...

Doug, you have outdone yourself! This is a great endeavor.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Shane!

Paul said...

Your page looks great! One correction to point out that is clearly a typo. You have the new Hampton Inn in Bricktown's status as destroyed.

Anyway, thanks for all the hard work.

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks, Paul ... fixed!

sroberts24 said...

wow how many buildings 9 to 10 floors has our city destroyed?!?! we would have so much more density and a better skyline with all of those buildings... very disappointing

i was wondering if u had any information on all the proposed buildings for downtown that fell thru due to the oil bust?

Doug Dawg said...

Thanks for your comment, sroberts24.

I don't have a specific count or anything, but I'm pretty sure at least some info is in Lackmeyer & Moneys' 2nd Time Around book. See http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2006/11/okc-2nd-time-around.html

mb said...

Doug, wasn't the Country Inn Suite building on NW Expressway a 'makeover'? Seems like that used to be a building w/ a collection of Doctor's offices and such in it. I want to say the last time I remember it that was was circa 2003. (Took my Dad there for appointment if I'm not mistaken.)

Doug Dawg said...

Yes, MB, that is correct. Just looked in the Oklahoman's archives for a date, and a June 7, 2002, article reported on its makeover and expansion, just then completed. The same article says that its former name was simply, "Medical Tower."

Mark L. said...

I remember the Plaza Court Hotel as an office building. It was kind of scary. I helped my dad deliver a refrigerator to a doctor who had an office there around 1980. What was scary was that the windows you see were full length from floor to the ceiling. So you walked to the edge and if you had any kind of vertigo at all it would give you the woozies. It was not too long after that when I passed that building and it was a grassy lawn.