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Preliminary plans for downtown Oklahoma City parking garage revealed

Preliminary designs for a new 750-space parking garage south of City Hall unveiled Wednesday show a nod toward nearby landmarks and a mix of modern architecture.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: September 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm •  Published: September 19, 2012

The panels are designed to reflect the window screen panels incorporated into the Art Deco facades of City Hall, the Civic Center Music Hall and county courthouse, all WPA-era structures built in 1937.

The colors also are intended to reflect the Dale Chihuly glass tower at the nearby Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

The ground floor retail, meanwhile, is set to be surrounded with a black granite facade reflective of the shops facing Park Avenue at First National Center.

The remainder of the structure will likely consist of a stainless steel mesh skin or similar material intended to exceed the city's requirement that garages be built with at least 30 percent cross ventilation.

Commissioner Larry Nichols questioned whether the first floor of retail space is necessary and noted that downtown properties are struggling to sign up shops and stores for existing space.

O'Connor responded the city may want to use the space for large conference rooms or customer service operations. City Councilman Ed Shadid, who was in attendance at the meeting, also suggested the space might be ideal for creating a fitness center for city employees.

The garage is the first expansion to the city's public parking since the opening of the City Center garages a decade ago, which were then sold to neighboring property owners including Devon Energy Corp.

With existing garages running at full capacity, the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority hopes to start construction next year.

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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