When I was in town recently for various things, including attending the transit forum--I was walking out the Civic Center Music Hall and onto the steps in front of it and I was just blown away by the setting that surrounds the Civic Center. Here's an idea: Why don't we focus more on the Civic Center/City Hall area and build downtown around that environment? Sure, it has its challenges..Sycamore Square isn't exactly dazzling high design, and the County Jail looms in the distance--but this is arguably one of downtown's most special environments.
Nowhere else are you surrounded by a plethora of mid-rise buildings in a walkable environment, where you are surrounded by arts. The Arts Festival, Myriad Gardens, concerts at the Civic Center, important art exhibits at the OKCMOA, jazz from the OKCMOA roof, etc etc. As OKC tries to cast a name for itself with increased attention from the Playoffs, and as the national media is currently in love with OKC--let's market THIS area of downtown more! Let's also build and orient more of our downtown toward this bright area.
Here are some pictures I took, equipped only with my phone:
This sculpture that is coming to the lawn known as Bicentennial Park between City Hall and the Civic Center is a start. I haven't yet considered whether that area NEEDS such a large piece of public art as this, as opposed to the OTHER side of City Hall facing Couch Drive, but public art is almost never a bad thing. I'll say that.
The art piece, entitled "Compass Rose" is a $350,000 donation from the Inasmuch Foundation, and comes at no cost at all to the city. Even better!