Maurice Kanbar mystery; downtown Tulsa's private clubs; Pearl District progress

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Jennie Lloyd makes her debut this week as the new city reporter for Urban Tulsa Weekly with two interesting stories about downtown Tulsa, past, present, and future.

The first is about the mysterious goings-on involving the massive portfolio of downtown buildings owned by Maurice Kanbar, for example:

In December 2010, Clay Clark, the marketing director for Fears & Clark Realty Group (at the time, responsible for leasing and public relations for Kanbar Properties), announced that a "wedding mall" inside the Executive Center at Fifth and Cheyenne would open soon. Clark said six vendors had signed on and two others were in negotiations.

As part of Kanbar's plan for redeveloping downtown, the new permanent bridal fair would be a place where Tulsa florists, DJs, limo services and photographers can converge to offer one-stop wedding shopping.

When the mall debuted in January, Clark showed KOTV News on 6 around what appeared to be fresh renovations, paint and signage on the third floor of the Executive Center.

Now, only six months after its grand opening in the Executive Center, the collective of wedding vendors has moved to a new location. Al Hornung at Omni Lighting cited "problems with the landlord" as the reason the mall had to find a new home. Clay Clark, media director for Fears & Clark Realty Group, said the location was awkward and parking was difficult.

Epic Photography, Cherished Traditions and DJ Connection now office at 1609 S. Boston Ave., while Omni Lighting, Icing on the Top and Galaxy Limousines remain involved but without permanent offices, Clark said.

Lloyd's story makes reference to a BatesLine story about Maurice Kanbar and Kanbar Properties, particularly about forcing Barthelmes Conservatory to vacate its location in Kanbar's Avanti Building.

In a story on downtown Tulsa's social clubs, Lloyd dives into the history files to depict the glamour that once was the Tulsa Club and the soon-to-be-defunct Petroleum Club and the ongoing success of the Summit Club and the Tulsa Press Club.

The 11-story Tulsa Club Building offered six floors to its members (the first five were home to the Chamber of Commerce) of leisurely and luxe offerings, including an athletic department, separate men's and ladies' lounges, a barber shop, rooftop "sky terrace," and private dining rooms....

The athletic department was one of the first and most complete gymnasiums in Tulsa. Only for men, the gym offered "handball and squash racquet courts, golf practice court, Turkish bath, steam room, dry hot room, electric cabinets, Swedish body massage, diathermy, whirlpool bath, ultra-violet treatment, infra-red treatment, physical therapy, informal dining room and slumber room."

Holland Hall's Dutchman Weekend prom was held at the Tulsa Club in 1979, when it was still an elegant facility. The next time I saw it was shortly after the club closed when they were selling the remaining fixtures, after the place was nearly stripped bare but before the vandals arrived.

Finally, what may be outgoing reporter Mike Easterling's final story for UTW on the beginning of the beginning of the first piece of the Pearl District / Elm Creek basin stormwater mitigation plan. The city has applied for funding for one of two retention ponds planned for the area.

Happy trails to Mike. Good luck and congratulations on a great start to Jennie.

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1 Comments

jeff & stella said:

He implied so much at Perry's in April of this year.

The best to you and the family. jeff

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 22, 2011 12:59 AM.

"A Salute to Curly Lewis: Tulsa Western Swing Reunion" Thursday, July 21, 2011 was the previous entry in this blog.

Jim Mautino vs. passive-aggressive bureaucrats is the next entry in this blog.

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