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Legacy: John Belt and The Paseo

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: March 14, 2013


Today friends and admirers will gather to say one last goodbye to John Belt, the man who more than anybody else made Paseo what it is today. As I noted in Tuesday’s OKC Central column, I first came to admire the man through a 1991 story written by the late great Mary Jo Nelson. You can read that story through this previous Sunday flashback.
And now, a look back at The Paseo before it was transformed by the master artist, John Belt:

Paseo as it looked in the early 1970s when John Belt began buying and renovating properties. The Spaghetti Factory, shown to the right, is the one building that hasn't changed at all in the past 30 years.
Paseo as it looked in the early 1970s when John Belt began buying and renovating properties. The Spaghetti Factory, shown to the right, is the one building that hasn't changed at all in the past 30 years.
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The Paseo district in Oklahoma City Nov. 7, 1973. By Jim Argo, The Daily Oklahoman
The Paseo district in Oklahoma City Nov. 7, 1973. By Jim Argo, The Daily Oklahoman

And now, back to the youthful early days of Paseo, then known as Spanish Village:

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