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Music, water refresh Bricktown
Banjo music soon will flow through the streets of Bricktown, thanks to a pending move by the American Banjo Museum from its home in Guthrie.The nonprofit closed Tuesday on a $1.3 million purchase of the two-story building at 9 E Sheridan and is set to proceed with a $2 million renovation this spring. Johnny Baier, executive director, said the project is possible thanks to support by banjo enthusiast and industrialist Jack Canine. "Mr. Canine has established a gift trust to serve as the museum's long-term endowment, and into that trust he has provided an additional gift to ensure this project will be seen through completion.” The 9 E Sheridan building was briefly leased to a club and before that a Chinese restaurant. The building is about a century old and stands at the main entry to Bricktown. It is surrounded by restaurants and is within walking distance from the downtown hotels and the Cox Convention Center. "It was the location in Bricktown,” Baier said. "We didn't want to be on the fringes. We looked out by the boathouse, we looked at vacant land where we could build a new structure ... We are dependent on casual traffic — people who don't seek us out, but say ‘this is interesting enough, I'm going in.'” The renovation, being overseen by Architectural Design Group, calls for restoring bricked-in windows and removing pink paint added a few years ago. Baier estimates 75 percent of the $2 million renovation budget will be spent on returning the building's facade to its historic appearance. "No more pink paint,” Baier said. "We are committed to taking this building to its original look and doing it well.” Chuck Ainsworth, who represented the seller, Bricktown Square LLC, said the building wasn't for sale when negotiations began in September. But the banjo museum, represented by J.R. "Bud” Fulton, wasn't just any ordinary buyer, he said. "It was only after the owners realized how this could enhance the entire area that they decided to depart with it,” Ainsworth said. "It's just such an exciting deal for Bricktown. It's another dimension — we talk about retail, restaurants and housing, but this brings another dimension of culture to the fabric of downtown.
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CURRENT LOOK ISSUE
A $2 million renovation by the American Banjo Museum of the 9 E Sheridan building in Bricktown will include removal of pink paint and restoration of windows.
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