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Life set to return to the last boarded-up building in downtown Oklahoma City

Developer Richard McKown is preparing to renovate the Rock Island Plow Building in Oklahoma City into offices.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: August 29, 2013

“But my ambition was to bring the building back to life, all five floors,” he said.

McKown is doing the Rock Island Plow Building renovation with Architect Wade Scaramucci and his London-based firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, the design team for the Level and Mosaic apartments in Deep Deuce.

Plans by Wade Scaramucci call for construction of an entirely new building within the brick walls of the existing structure. Changes will include entrances to be added along Oklahoma Avenue, skylights and a vintage landmark water tower on the roof, and potential space for restaurants or retail on the ground floor.

An application was filed this last week with the Bricktown Urban Design Committee, and McKown is preparing to solicit construction bids. He is hoping to start work next year.

McKown is expecting the building renovation will surprise people who have never seen the building without boards on its windows.

“With the windows open, the building is filled with light,” McKown said. “When the sun is out, it's just dazzling. People are going to say, ‘Where did that come from?' Right now, it's a building that's wearing a mask at a masquerade ball.”

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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