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In Oklahoma City, a corridor is as commercial activity does

Proponents of shining up Interstate 240 want to encourage a distinctive commercial dynamic for a 4-mile stretch of the highway between I-44 and I-35.
by Richard Mize Published: March 9, 2013

Blame it all on my roots, but I'm especially sensitive to the words used to describe places.

I grew up on a farm east of Muldrow, a real farm, not a suburban or exurban “acreage.”

Muldrow was a small town of about 1,500 then, and is a small town of about 3,400 now. Do not call it a “village,” a “hamlet” or any other such faux quaint thing. It's a small town, although there are lots smaller.

When former Oklahoma State Cowboy star and NBA player Bryant “Big Country” Reeves was told he was going to “the city” for a basketball camp or something, he thought they meant Sallisaw, not Oklahoma City — and I totally understood.

So, when I look at the 11,250,000-cubic-foot Devon Tower, I think, Lordy, you could stack a LOT of hay in that, and I'll bet Bryant Reeves does, too! (That's 9-foot-tall ceilings times 50 floors of about 25,000 square feet each — it's a guesstimate, y'all.)

And my brain snaps — because to me, anything over 10 stories is a skyscraper.

Almost 30 years ago or so in college, when I heard someone on KSPI radio in Stillwater refer to the “Stillwater metropolitan area,” I scoffed off a column for The Daily O'Collegian makin' fun of the idea that a prairie college town, with a “skyline” defined by a grain elevator, the 12-story Kerr-Drummond Hall and (late) Willham Hall, twin dorms that came down in 2005, could be a “metropolitan area.” The radio guy replied that he meant it tongue-in-cheek. Maybe.

Then, 20 years ago when I was working at another paper in a pretty good sized-city, about 100,000 population, a business reporter who apparently had been to an urban planning conference or two started referring to a state highway that came through town, and had some businesses on it, as the “Such-and-Such Highway corridor.”

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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