Rand Elliott, founder and principal of Elliott + Associates Architects, sees an even more vibrant city, more design creativity, entrepreneurial solutions to energy concerns and cars barred from downtown by 2033.
Q. What will be the biggest change in the Oklahoma City metro area?
A. Architecture plays a major role in creating a vibrant city. Before the passage of the original MAPS, architecture in our community was mostly nondescript. Yes, we had a few gems, but they had been neglected. Talented and creative architects in our community were emboldened by MAPS.
We became braver and bolder in putting forth ideas and plans to inspire vibrancy at a time when homegrown entrepreneurs such as Aubrey McClendon and Larry Nichols — who recognized and respected the power of architecture on the soul of a city — arrived on the scene.
Architecture in our community has evolved. It is more interesting as evident by the redefining Devon Energy Tower and restoration of a number of inherently great old buildings with fine bones. Our wonderful city will continue to evolve, mature and flourish. It will be better, bolder and braver.
We will have built Turbinomics (long-planned tower designed to generate its own power through a mix of solar and wind power and natural gas).
There will be 100,000-plus people living downtown.
Cars will be unnecessary and barred within the downtown area.
America will be energy independent thanks to Oklahoma City entrepreneurs.
Q. Will there be physical changes? If so, what will they look like?
A. Downtown is the heart of our community. A dynamic skyline suggests prosperity. Overlooked is the fact architecture also promotes community values. With sustainability moving to the forefront, perhaps our downtown will see a tall building energized by a system we patented called Turbinomics — skyscraper efficiently powered by a combination of clean energy, natural gas, wind and solar.
It is interesting to note the companies behind the renaissance of Oklahoma City are led by Oklahoma entrepreneurs. As entrepreneurship flourishes in our community, we will see more great buildings built, some tall, some not, but all will contribute to the advancement and betterment of our community.
Oklahoma City is evolving into a multicultural community with ever more appreciation for the benefits of diversity. The role of sports, the arts and entertainment will increase moving forward. Variety will be the theme fueled by local creative people unplugged to present their ideas.
In my view, architecture will continue to inspire Oklahoma City, bring us global admiration and elevate our pride to realize we do not have to take a back seat to any city anywhere. Bring on the future!
All the vacant land from the downtown core to N 13 will be built on.
All downtown buildings will be connected by underground or skywalks.
We will build over Broadway Extension and connect the Health Sciences Center to the downtown core.
The Oklahoma River will be fully developed. The Boathouse District will extend to Meridian on the west and Martin Luther King Avenue on the east.
Wind screens will be built in strategic locations to control wind downtown.
We will pave roads with photovoltaic panels to collect power from the sun.
All downtown buildings will be retrofitted for wind power and solar in addition to power from oil and natural gas.
Q. Where is the most potential?
A. Along the Oklahoma River on the north and south;
•Classen Boulevard from NW 63 south to SE 15;
•The area surrounding the Health Sciences Center;
•The Flatiron District centered at 5th and Oklahoma and Harrison avenues.