Oklahoma City's old lockup could be changing its stripes soon.
Oklahoma City has issued a request for proposals to redevelop the old city jail, 200 N Shartel Ave. The building has been little-used for more than two decades. The 72-year-old building is not exactly move-in ready, but the city is interested in seeing if anyone can come up with a good plan on how to use it while maintaining consideration for its historic value.
The jail is part of what was called the Civic Center upon its design in 1930, a complex of city buildings that includes City Hall and the Civic Center Music Hall. It was used by city police as a jail before the Oklahoma County jail was built across the street in the 1980s.
“It was always part of a master plan for our civic space,” said city Planning Department Director Russell Claus. “It's an important historic building, and we need to try and re-energize it.”
Work to do
Now, only about 2,000 square feet of the ground floor of the building is used by the U.S. Marshal Service. The rest of the building needs significant work before it can be put to use. It is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Claus said he thinks the depth of repairs needed for the building is a bigger issue for future redevelopment than its location across the street from the current jail. But it has potential for anyone willing to undertake the project.