Thursday, September 13, 2012

Saturday in the Park..on a 113 degree day

For those who don't know, there is a reason I've gone very quiet at such a pivotal moment for Downtown OKC. I accepted a position in Cleveland, Ohio and I moved in August, after the Friends for a Better Boulevard Town Hall. I am loving Cleveland, especially while the weather is nice. I am still not sure whether I will keep this blog running, but in the meantime, here are some photos of how I like to remember Oklahoma City -- the new-and-improved Myriad Gardens:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paramount film screening tonight!

The Paramount has opened this week. I was having dinner at Joey's and noticed their coffee shop was open the other day, so I stopped in to check it out... upon chatting with the fantastic owners, learned that they were having their first inaugural film screening TONIGHT at 6:30 and 8:30. It will be a classic film, but beyond that they wanted to keep the film title under wraps until the curtain went up. I am kicking myself that I had a prior engagement, but I hope anyone who loves classic films and seeing OKC continue to grow and evolve will come down and check it out.

To get in you simply sign up for a membership. They are an extremely informal, well-intended operation - by "membership" they mean that you write your name down on a piece of paper and contribute whatever you think your membership is worth. A dollar could get you in if you're just wanting to see this screening. I hope tons of people show up to pack the house and give these ladies a very successful grand opening.

On a side note, Lee Avenue has actually turned into a nice, cohesive corridor?!?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Midtown has that new website smell

Midtown Renaissance: Full Video Coming Soon from Midtown Renaissance on Vimeo.

MidtownRenaissance (Howard/Clagg/et al.), which has recently announced a ton of really exciting deals such as a partnership with Coury Properties to renovate the Osler into an upscale boutique hotel, or their partnership with the city to build a parking garage on NW10th between the 1101 building (on Broadway) and the Frontline Church (on Robinson) - has unveiled a new website recently that is getting so much buzz it is currently down because the servers appear to be swamped. That is a very impressive new website.

For those who don't know, MidtownRenaissance is the group who has redeveloped almost all of NW 10th as well as a few properties north of that strip. Their residential properties are the toast of downtown - all completely-occupied, usually fully leased before they even finish construction, and they have done nothing but top-notch historic preservation projects such as: The Cline, The Packard, Hadden Hall, some properties west of Shartel, and so on. They also own the Plaza Court, recently redid 1212 N. Walker, and are now in the middle of renovating the Guardian Lofts (which has a fantastic new parking structure that actually contributes to the built environment), 1100 and 1101 N. Broadway, and will soon start the 430 Lofts and restoring the old Marion Hotel with structured parking across the street.

MidtownRenaissance is probably the most successful downtown developer there is, and due to their impressive track record, I would highly recommend them to anyone in the market for a new downtown rental. Oddly enough, one thing they haven't done at all is for-sale residential, and I'd be curious if they could raise the bar for that sector as well, as they have already raised the bar for the rental market. The only thing they've been unable to do is provide enough units for all the interest they've gotten - which proves one important point: That people in the market for downtown living spaces will pay for quality.

Here are some photos from their 1212 N. Walker project:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

OKC all-around beautiful

For the last few weeks I've been busy canvassing OKC, from Capitol Hill up to Chesapeake, taking photos of neighborhoods and street scenes that show the everyday nitty-gritty of OKC's built environment. As I tired of seeing countless photos of something nice downtown, I yearned to see greatness in the everyday built environment, so I went out and found it. In fact, I found it pretty easily... OKC "outside of downtown" is really shaping up, too.

Here is a sneak peak at the hundreds of photos that I've taken to document where OKC is at in preparation of my leaving town again:

Will Rogers Theater/Will's Lobby Bar

Random street in Edgemere Park

NW13th and Robinson (we'll call this "pre-streetcar")

Small-scale buildings in A-Alley

Mount Saint Mary's Catholic prep school in S. OKC (near SW25th/Shartel)

Random street in Crestwood

Skyline from Western/Main avenues

The historic armory on NE23rd

New "Lincoln Renaissance" state-related development

NE30th/Lincoln Blvd.

A significant concentration of mid-century mod along Lincoln

La discoteca on SW29th

No way, people, walking, around a traffic circle?!?

The Walker Circle - one of OKC's most unique public spaces

Random street in Mesta Park

Random street between Mesta Park and Heritage Hills

Random street in Heritage Hills

The sign says Heritage Hills, so we'll go with that

New development in Gatewood (NW18th/Classen)

The Plaza District (NW16th Street)


Random street in Gatewood.

Carey Place (a sub-district of Gatewood)

The Cleveland neighborhood

New outlet mall

"Oklahoma" in a snapshot

The beautiful new 23rd Street Courts development in Uptown23rd

Spruced-up buildings along Uptown23rd

Lights turned on at the old Tower Theatre (we'll also call this photo "pre-streetcar")

Interesting modern infills between Paseo and Uptown

The Classen condo tower and historic Gold Dome cultural center; Rt 66 landmarks both

New public housing in JFK, fantastic design by architect James Williams

New OMRF tower rises above Capitol View neighborhood

Old Catholic church along NE Kelley

The sign says Lincoln Terrace, so we'll go with that

Nearly got mowed over taking this photo, NW23rd/Hudson

The big Presbyterian church on N. Western

N. Walker in Midtown (we'll once again call this "pre-streetcar")

Random homes in Putnam Heights

Cool art moderne home in Crown Heights

Random home in Central Park.. yard signs!! lol

The top of Paseo Drive

Looking up Paseo Drive, beside the newly-renovated Paseo Plunge

New homes in Jefferson Park

*All photos taken on my phone, to explain the quality... and not ONE photo of downtown and all the new development over yonder (I'll admit Midtown is getting kinda close though I'd still argue it as the beginning of "North OKC").