Tulsa: August 2004 Archives

Good news! Bama Corporation plans to renovate the Max Campbell Building, built in 1926, using the second floor as corporate offices, with shops on the street level targeting students from nearby TU.

The handsome old building, which fills the block between Birmingham and Columbia Avenues on the south side of 11th Street, features broad towers on each corner, topped with multicolored tile. It has been the fervent hope of the neighborhood to see this landmark restored. Hats off to Paula Marshall-Chapman and Bama for promoting historic preservation and good urban design. Let's hope that other corporate citizens will follow Bama's example.

If you've been meaning to show your support for saving the Skelly Building from the Whirled's wrecking ball, today is the day to show up. It looks like it may be the last opportunity. (The Skelly Building is on the northeast corner of 4th & Boulder.)

Here's the official notice:

11:30-12:30 Wednesday in front of the Skelly! Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your pets. This will likely be the last chance we have to hit the pavement in front of the Skelly. Bring your signed petitions, sign one of ours, we are presenting them to the World on Thursday and every name counts.

Petition available here: http://www.tulsapreservationsociety.com/skellypetition.pdf

And here's the text of the petition:

Robert E. Lorton
Chairman and Publisher
Tulsa World Publishing Co. – Downtown Improvements

We are citizens of a county that voted for Vision 2025 and who care about Tulsa’s future. We wholeheartedly support the arena, library projects and the vision of a revitalized Downtown Tulsa. We believe what we need, in the words of Cesar Pelli, “is a vital downtown where people can work, live and have fun.”

We know you, your family and your newspaper have long been leaders both advocating for, and supporting, a progressive Tulsa. You have shown your support for Vision 2025 and Downtown initiatives. We know you care deeply for our community.

We read with concern that you intend to demolish the Skelly and Froug buildings and replace them with a surface level parking lot across the street from a garage and an Air Conditioning/Heating (HVAC) Building on the prominent corner of Main and Third Street . We the tax payers are now spending $4,200,000 to renovate Main Street to be a more attractive street that will help revitalize downtown. Your plans to build yet another surface level parking lot downtown and a HVAC plant on our newly renovated Main Mall appear strikingly inconsistent with the city’s significant downtown expenditures and the goals of Vision 2025.

We are therefore requesting a meeting between yourselves and members of the Tulsa Area Preservation Society to better understand your reasoning and plans. We respectfully request you delay demolition until all avenues in the private and public sectors can be pursued to meet your needs. Our intention is to find a solution both beneficial to you, and at the same time, be consistent with the ideals of Vision 2025 by preserving Tulsa’s historic buildings.

If this issue is new to you, click here to read previous entries on the topic, and to find links to other sources of information.

Skelly/Froug's update


The Tulsa Whirled's exterior demolition of the Froug's Building, 3rd & Main, is underway.

Protests will continue each Wednesday, 11:30 - 12:30 in front of the Skelly Building, 4th & Boulder.

The Tulsa Beacon gave the Skelly Building front-page treatment, with a photo and comments from protestors. (Story will be replaced Thursday -- sure would be nice if the Beacon would find a way to archive their main stories and keep it accessible.)

Architect Paul Uttinger has a great letter in this week's Urban Tulsa. Some key paragraphs:

The Tulsa World and Lorton family are great supporters of the performing arts, but there is an opportunity now for them to become true champions of the building arts, where a reinvigorated city center and good urban design are paramount. The argument is not one of private property rights. As owners of the Skelly Building, the executives of World Publishing are free to do with their property as they see fit.

But in a true city, there’s an underlying implication that private property owners will develop their land with civility and with respect toward the public. When a building such as the Skelly is taken down, the general public expects something better to be built in its place. In the urban context, a parking lot is not better than a building.

Even as a vacant structure, the Skelly provides two important street walls facing Fourth and Boulder. With the Skelly Building removed, the south side of the World Building will be exposed to public view. In its current condition, the south face of the World Building is far more unattractive than the vacant hulk of the Skelly.

There seems to be someone with a viable proposal for buying the Skelly Building and making use of available tax incentives to redevelop it as housing. But will the Whirled entertain an offer?

Finally, someone has made a "modest proposal" as an alternative to demolishing downtown one building at a time.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa category from August 2004.

Tulsa: July 2004 is the previous archive.

Tulsa: October 2004 is the next archive.

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