The iconic Gold Dome at NW 23 and Classen Boulevard, narrowly saved from the wrecking ball a decade ago, is set for a foreclosure sale next month.
Bank 7 recently notified the dome's owner, Dr. Irene Lam, that the building will be sold to the highest and best bidder 10:30 a.m. Sept. 13.
When the Gold Dome was built in 1958, the two-story building with the familiar round anodized aluminum roof was touted by Citizens Bank as “the bank of tomorrow.”
By the late 1990s, however, the property had seen a series of bank tenants either fail or acquired by larger bank chains. It was then targeted for demolition by its prior owner Bank One, which was planning to sell the corner to Walgreens.
Bank One and Walgreens chose to build new locations east and west of the property and to let the Gold Dome stand after months of protests by preservationists and a sale of the building to Lam.
Vacancy has gone up in recent years with the loss of the Prohibition Room restaurant and the Oklahoma Main Street Program as tenants.
Lam is also delinquent in paying property taxes, with records showing she owes $49,359 assessed over the past two years. The Oklahoma City Council last year paid off a $1 million federal loan they extended to Lam when she bought the property. City Planning Director Russell Claus said Lam has paid only interest to date on that loan.
Lam said Monday she is hopeful the foreclosure sale will be canceled after further talks with lenders.
“We're in the process of working it out with the bank,” Lam said. “We will have a new restaurant opening in the next two weeks and three new tenants coming in.”
Claus said he has no certainty about what fate might await the property if it proceeds to a foreclosure sale.
“It's a difficult building,” Claus said. “It's a fantastic building. We recognize its value. It's an important icon for the city.
“But the building was built for one use — a bank — which limits re-use options.”
The two-story Gold Dome was built as a bank in 1958, touted by Citizens Bank as “the bank of tomorrow.”