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Efforts to demolish Gold Dome in Oklahoma City put on hold

Oklahoma City historic building's owner says he feels “boxed in,” and is willing to listen to ideas for saving the landmark structure.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: March 26, 2013

Oklahoma City Planning Director Russell Claus responded that removal of the dome, however, would require the same review and approval that would go with demolition.

Preservation architect Catherine Montgomery said Box's offer to give away the dome roof ignores the historic value of the entire structure.

“The pure preservation response is a moved building is not eligible for the historic register,” Montgomery said. “If you move the entire building or just the roof, it gets taken off the register.”

Montgomery said the value of the Gold Dome includes the rarity of a dome being set on walls instead of on the ground. “It's also the terrazzo floor that has all the circles in it, a fabulous example of how to work with that material at the time,” she said.

Melissa Hunt, director of the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, said her board is set to meet soon about the proposed demolition or removal of the roof.

“Historic preservation isn't taking apart the building and just saving just part of it,” Montgomery said. “It's about the saving of the building.”

Box responds he's ready and willing to give Montgomery and the Central Oklahoma AIA a chance to survey the building and offer possible solutions.

But he added he cannot sit on the property for years, and that he's losing money on monthly mortgage, insurance and tax payments.

Box said he's heard plenty of criticism — but what he's seeking is a solution.

“I don't want it on my tombstone that I tore down the Gold Dome,” Box said. “But the taxpayers paid $1 million to fix it up. The bank sought to get rid of it. Irene Lam couldn't make it work. So instead of complaining, let's do something.”

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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