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Demolition of Oklahoma City Film Exchange Building put on hold

The 90-year-old Film Exchange will not be demolished after protests that the building is historically significant.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: July 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: July 25, 2013

Jones said the building is too big for a cafe and does not work for offices, and a lack of parking makes it even more challenging for redevelopment.

“We're afraid that there's the potential with no one interested in it, that it could end up sitting there looking like this,” Jones said.

Todd, however, admitted the city faces no rush in pursuing demolition; construction of the park isn't set to start until sometime in 2014 with an opening now being pushed back to 2015.

Bradley Wynn, author of a book about the city's early film exchange community, urged MAPS 3 board members to take a closer look at the building's history and it's redevelopment potential — a pitch the board embraced.

“This particular building is unique because it was there at the beginning of the neighborhood that was there, and it is a reminder of that neighborhood,” Wynn said. “I know this building doesn't look like much, but it has a lot to offer.”

Michael Dover, a board member who approved the demolition while hearing the demolition application as a member of a MAPS 3 subcommittee on Wednesday, said he had second thoughts after pleas made by Wynn and White, and by an unidentified young man who spoke to the subcommittee after its vote.

“It was so exciting to hear a young man, probably in his 20s, with these same concerns,” Dover said. “I just don't see the sense of urgency that we have to make a decision to demolish these buildings at this point. I would like to see more of conversation take place.”

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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