A 91-year-old building that was originally home to the Oklahoma Cotton Growers Association is undergoing a $1.3 million renovation by its new owner, the Oklahoma City Geological Society.
After being hidden on the ninth floor of the First National Center for 13 years, the organization, founded in 1921, was looking for a centrally located space with parking, enough room to house their 12,000-square-foot library and additional room for events and continuing education.
Mike Harris, chief executive officer of the Oklahoma City Geological Society, said his organization was looking not just for a new home, but also a fresh start with a younger generation of geologists.
“The society has been a relatively unknown organization to the city,” Harris said. “Unless you are in the older generation of the oil and gas industry, you may not know we exist. The new building will help increase our visibility as we also begin to implement strategies to reach and serve a new generation of geologists and other natural resources professionals interested in the earth sciences.”
After a search for properties throughout downtown — a search assisted by brokers Marc Weinmeister and Bert Berlanger – the society on Jan. 31 paid $1.36 million for the former cotton growers building and adjoining parking spaces.
Before the sale, the two-story building with a full basement at 10 NW 6 was stress-tested to ensure it could support the approximately 100,000 pounds of the society’s library. The library houses 500 file cabinets containing more than 1 million well logs and other historic well records dating back to the early 1900s.
Those well records gives the society its edge over online information providers, Harris said.
“The function of the society is twofold,” Harris said. “The society holds functions for networking and education … We produce a bi-monthly publication. The second function is the library. It’s the historical well records that go back to the early 1900s. These records are proprietary. They are here in our library.”