Downtown Tulsa Unlamented

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This week's UTW column begins with an imaginary letter from the Convention and Visitors Bureau to delegates to the 2008 National Preservation Conference, inviting delegates to admire the parking lots where historic buildings used to stand.

Don’t miss the site of the Skelly Building on the northeast corner of 4th and Boulder, designed by famed architect Bruce Goff, now an exclusive deluxe gated, 12-space parking community owned by the Tulsa World.

More specifically it's about the CORE Tulsa recommendations for historical preservation in downtown Tulsa (PDF document) and the hysterical response of certain downtown property owners, who don't recognize the obligation placed upon them by the enormous amount of public investment that has boosted their property values:

We didn’t pay all that money to accelerate the conversion of downtown to an enormous surface parking lot. The express purpose of much of that public investment is the revitalization of downtown. Many Tulsans want a downtown where historic buildings are protected, a downtown that is an attractive and interesting place to walk around, not a downtown that looks like the Woodland Hills Mall parking lot. Every time a property owner knocks a building down for surface parking, it devalues that public investment. It is legitimate and reasonable for local government to protect that investment with modest regulations.

One of the organizations who complained about the CORE recommendations gets a new nickname: Downtown Tulsa Unlamented. (I couldn't find this in the Whirled archives, but I seem to recall reading an article about the demolition of the old Cadillac dealership in south Boston, in which a DTU official was quoted as saying that no one would miss that old building. Anyone else recall that?)

(Added on September 30, 2006, to fill in the gaps in my Urban Tulsa Weekly column archive.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 23, 2006 2:31 AM.

Meeting tonight: "How Do We Save Our Historic Resources?" was the previous entry in this blog.

Property owners owe Tulsans downtown preservation is the next entry in this blog.

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