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Construction to begin in fall on converting Oklahoma City's Fred Jones Assembly Plant to 21C Museum Hotel

The sprawling former Ford Model T assembly plant at 900 W Main will feature a restaurant and bar in the former showroom at the corner of Main Street and Fred Jones Avenue and about 7,500 square feet of art exhibition space in the 134-room hotel.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: June 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: June 18, 2014
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Design work is wrapping up and construction is set to start in September on conversion of the 99-year-old Fred Jones Assembly Plant into a 21C Museum Hotel.

The sprawling former Ford Model T assembly plant at 900 W Main will feature a restaurant and bar in the former showroom at the corner of Main Street and Fred Jones Avenue, and will include about 7,500 square feet of art exhibition space in the 134-room hotel.

Plans created by New York City-based Deborah Berke Partners and Edmond-based Hornbeek Blatt Architects are set to be presented next month to the Downtown Design Review Committee. The hotel tentatively is set to open by early 2016.

Molly Swyers, senior vice president of design at 21C Museum Hotels, said the company recently discovered the original designs by architect Albert Kahn, who also drew up plans for about 1,000 facilities for Ford, as well as the home of Edsel and Eleanor Ford.

The assembly plant was one of 24 regional assembly plants designed and built between 1910 and 1915 to accommodate what was then an unprecedented expansion of the Ford Motor Co.’s assembly process across the country.

Swyers said the design team’s goal is to preserve and honor the assembly plant’s history, starting with a historically accurate replication of the building’s elaborate casement windows. Columns spread out throughout the plant will be incorporated into the design, with every guest room including at least a portion of or a full column — some of them strategically left in the middle of the rooms.

“We are very excited about the columns and the scale of the space,” Swyers said. “We want to give our guests a feel of the scale of the space.”

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author 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...
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