City Hall move; Buried Car recap; Tulsarama revisited

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My UTW column this week was also about the proposal to move City Hall to One Technology Center at 100 S. Cincinnati. Most of the questions I posed were raised in one form or another, and most were answered, although I won't say that my fears were allayed. (Don Himelfarb couldn't answer my question about the true operating costs of the first year, operating in both old and new facilities.)

I had two related feature stories in the issue, a report on the unearthing and unveiling of the buried car, and a look back at the Tulsarama! celebration in 1957 -- it was a huge city-wide celebration, plagued by at least as much rain as we've seen so far this year. It was much more than burying a time capsule and a car.

I'm pleased with the way the Tulsarama! story came out, but it isn't the comprehensive Tulsa 1957 story I wanted to do. I just ran out of time and couldn't get my arms around it. I have gathered a ton of material, looking through old city directories and planning documents, and receiving the reminiscences of Tulsans who were around in 1957. The article I wrote just scratches the surface, and I intend to provide more here and hopefully in future feature stories. The story of the major comprehensive planning effort that began in 1957 is a story that we need to know as we begin assembling yet another comprehensive plan.

Also in the current issue, Brian Ervin has a story on the difference of opinion about how many police officers Tulsa needs, with the Mayor and her interim police chief on one side and the Fraternal Order of Police on the other side.

UPDATE: Regarding the Belvedere, reader Richard Randall offered this interesting (and frightening) perspective:

We wonder why all of the bridges in Tulsa (and Oklahoma) are falling apart. Most of them were designed and built around the same time as the vault (give or take some years) by some of the same engineers. It seems to show just how well they designed and built some things back then and today, when it is built by the cheapest bidder. Growing up my dad had always talked about how bad the car would look when it came out (He worked at his dads construction company at the time the vault was built). He knew that the vault would fill up with water, by the design they used. Had they looked to the oil industry, they would have learned that water will find a way into anything. The best thing to use would have been a 1 to 2-inch steel box welded shut and encased in concrete. This would have withstood the fifty years. They did seem to grasp that idea a little bit. The time capsule was steel, (not sure if it was welded shut). Everything in it was in great condition.

Not only that, but the same engineers were probably responsible for designing the Civic Center's leaky and crumbling subterranean garage. (Maybe not crumbling any more. I haven't heard a report of falling concrete in some time.) One of the interesting facts that emerged in today's Council meeting about the proposed City Hall move -- about $16 million of that $24 million in deferred maintenance is related to the underground parking garage.

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4 Comments

Randy said:

I popped up foxnews.com this morning to get a front page story of the Belvedere with a nice picture of the rusted out beast. We just can't seem to get any good press for this city.

Tom Flanagan said:

Move City Hall.
Why can't the city councilors think outside the box. Why does the city hall have to be downtown. Look at the Mall at 21th and 145th street. Each department that needed customer access can have shop on the mall. All other departments and support can be in the Penny's type store at each. And look at all the FREE parking space for employees and public.

sbtulsa said:

Putting mayor fung shway in the old eastland mall would be poetic justice. that's just a stone's throw from the illegal alien's jumnping off point at 21st and garnett.

maybe then she could appreciate the problem she is creating.

Bob said:

The FINANCING aspect of the move is starting to facinate me.

For the first FIVE years, the Revenue Bond debt service will be INTEREST ONLY on $67 million.

That means, that Mayor Chatty Kathy Taylor will just have finished her SECOND term as Mayor when the loan amortization kicks in, with dramatically higher repayment requirements, from $3.5 million annually to at least $4.8 million annually.

At that point, Chatty Kathy will be safely ensconced in her new job as Governor, U.S. Senator, or CongressWoman.

GOOOOOOOOD timing!

And, I'm just FASCINATED to know just who will be the SOLE SOURCE bond underwriter....

The Usual Suspects: BOK or F&M? Or BOTH, like in the Vision 2025 financing.

You know the local ruling establishment eschews COMPETITIVE Bidding. It's Sooooooo coarse, what with all that sharp-penciled competition, city taxpayers might just save money.

Oh Well, that's the Tulsa Premium at work, again.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 23, 2007 1:29 PM.

Double-secret Council meeting about moving City Hall was the previous entry in this blog.

Busted visit to Bartlesville is the next entry in this blog.

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