Friend Lisa Chronister, a principal at Oklahoma City’s LWPB Architecture, sees a possible future for Stage Center, which will fall to a wrecking ball to make room for an office tower — unless somebody takes the time to do something more meaningful and way cooler.
Here are Lisa’s thoughts, intriguingly informed by her experience of preparation for ministry as an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church:
In grad school at Pratt (Institute), one of our projects was to explore the proposed demolition of the Deutsche Bank building that was damaged in the 9/11 attacks. It sat empty for years, then during abatement prior to final demo, there was a fire that killed one or two firefighters and revealed a corrupt system of bribes and false certifications. I think it was finally demo’d in 2009ish.
The premise of the class project was: is there a different way to demolish things other than just tearing them down and throwing them away?
My response was to disassemble the building and relocate the pieces elsewhere in the region. My model was … wait for it … the Episcopal Church! I saw the Church as an example of an entity that broke into distinct factions (Church of England – 16th century) and later into yet another entity (PECUSA – 18th century) and more threatened breaks in the early 2000’s (ordination of Bishop Robinson). Still, each faction retained meaningful identifying features and traditions of the former one (BCP) though geographically spread out (all continents) into different forms (vestries).
How I see this translating to Stage Center was to disassemble the identifying colored metal panels and reuse them elsewhere in the city (bus stops, affordable housing). Where/when/how, I haven’t quite put together. I hope I can get to the demo contractor before it’s too late.
Another architect friend’s idea is that the theatrical use of Stage Center could be replicated on the new site as a meaningful ode to the former building.
I find these ideas completely fascinating, so I wanted to pass them on to you so that you could use or disseminate to anyone else who is interested. Enjoy!!
There you have it. Great ideas! To reach Lisa, call 470-4941 or email email@example.com