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!


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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