Construction on NW 23 project again unveils historic facade covered for decades in Oklahoma City

Former furniture store has granite, streamline-modern facade that stretches across three-fourths of the building at NW 23 and Walker.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: April 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm •  Published: April 16, 2014

Russell previously admitted that when he purchased the block, he initially considered razing the old Texaco and the building that will be home to Pizzeria Gusto. Even earlier, when the property was under different ownership, executives with Albertsons engaged in negotiations to buy the block and clear it for a new supermarket.

The Rise is set to open this summer, one year later than first hoped, but fully leased to a mix of restaurants, shops and bars.

“This project has been a series of discoveries,” Russell said. “Every time you find something like this, it slows us down a bit, and we need to figure out how to incorporate it into our designs. It has worked on our time lines some, but the outcome is just amazing.

Pickering, meanwhile, is happy that the old facades were simply covered up instead of being ripped off the buildings as occurred with several structures downtown.

“There was so much modernization in the mid-century,” Pickering said. “It was all about new materials and new looks. To discover these facades we lost so much to the Urban Renewal era in the 1960s and 1970s, to have it emerge like this, is fantastic. It gives us a glimpse of what we had. And hopefully it will encourage people to save what else we still have.”

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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It gives us a glimpse of what we had. And hopefully it will encourage people to save what else we still have.”

Larry Pickering,
Architect

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