When the Gold Dome at NW 23 and Classen was first threatened with demolition in 2001, Meg Salyer stood at the corner with other protesters picketing the owner, Bank One. Friday, Salyer, now a city councilwoman, helped celebrate overcoming another close call for the historic landmark.
Salyer joined with the building's last owner, David Box, and representatives of the new owner, TEEMCO, as plans were announced that the building will be renovated and turned into the company's headquarters.
“We've been trying for many years to find an appropriate use for this building,” Salyer said at the Friday morning news conference inside the darkened former bank. “I think we've found it.”
Box, owner of the Greens Country Club and Box Talent, bought the building at 1112 NW 23 last fall for $800,000 after it was seized in foreclosure by Bank 7 from the prior owner, Dr. Irene Lam. He then sought to have it demolished in March, but backed away from those plans after facing protests from the preservation and architectural communities.
Arrow Cunningham, spokesman for Edmond-based TEEMCO, confirmed the environmental engineering company has not completed a study of repairs and renovations needed to make the building headquarters to its 65-person operation. But after being reminded that Box estimated the building needs repairs that will top $250,000, Cunningham promised the company is prepared to do what it takes to get the job done.
The Gold Dome was built 1958 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It also considered a landmark along the old Route 66 path through Oklahoma City.
“We feel the Gold Dome is an Oklahoma City icon,” Cunningham said. “It should be around for future generations to appreciate. We feel to not restore it and revitalize it would be unfortunate.”
Neither Box nor Cunningham would disclose the sales price or a timeline for renovations, though a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for July. Box, also owner of the Greens County Club and Box Talent, said they also are looking to separately develop the surface parking to the east of the Gold Dome.
Talks between the two parties started 60 days ago; Box described the negotiations as a fast-moving process.
“TEEMCO wants the dome to stay,” Box said. “I want it to stay. And they're willing to make that happen.”