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Former Chrysler building in Oklahoma City gets a face-lift, new name

The former Chrysler shop, 309 NW 13, now is home to an office suite spanning more than 21,000 square feet. Monterey Energy Group owns the building and leases to various tenants, including Teach for America and Oklahoma Public Schools Resource Center.
By Catherine Sweeney, Business Writer Modified: June 16, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: June 14, 2014
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Architect Brian Fitzsimmons sits in the former Chrysler building, now branded the Monterey, at 309 NW 13 St. in Oklahoma City. The building inside now uses shipping containers for offices. 
Photos by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman
  PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND - 
PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND
Architect Brian Fitzsimmons sits in the former Chrysler building, now branded the Monterey, at 309 NW 13 St. in Oklahoma City. The building inside now uses shipping containers for offices. Photos by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND - PAUL B. SOUTHERLAND

Restoring the old Chrysler building gave architect Brian Fitzsimmons a chance to preserve the old while experimenting with the novel.

The former Chrysler shop, 309 NW 13, now is home to an office suite spanning more than 21,000 square feet. Monterey Energy Group owns the building and leases to various tenants, including Teach for America and Oklahoma Public Schools Resource Center.

Blue letters spelling out Monterey sit atop the gray brick building, replacing a sign with the building’s old name.

Various garage doors serve as a reminder of the building’s past, as well as its proximity to Automobile Alley. One feature stands out inside the industrially designed space: a row of gray and white stacked shipping containers.

“There’s nothing new about this, but it’s exciting,” Fitzsimmons said. “It’s become almost a novel thing.”

Open-air design

The 8-by-20 foot structures feature glass walls at the ends to reveal the interiors, which are dry walled and painted. There are seven containers on the ground, and six are stacked on top of those. Stairs lead to a catwalk that connects the top containers.

Multiple open office spaces surround the containers.

The size of the property provided a unique opportunity for open-air design.

“You just don’t have spaces like this anymore,” Fitzsimmons said. “You couldn’t build this cost-effectively nowadays.”

He said he was lucky Monterey’s tenants had the same idea. They preserved the open design with their leased areas.

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