The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer took questions from readers in today's OKC Central Live Chat. You can join Steve's Q&As on Fridays at 10 a.m. and submit your questions about the happenings in and around downtown Oklahoma City. Read the complete chat transcript here.
When will the demolition and construction begin in Uptown on NW 23rd? How should residents of that area expect to be impacted?
The property sale closed a week or so ago. The project still needs to go through design review, so we're probably looking at sometime this winter. I think the main impact will be the likely closure of a lane of NW 23 from time to time as the building is renovated, though even that's not a certainty. Otherwise... it sure seems as if it will be a nice change for that block and the overall neighborhood.
Did the East facade of the Braniff building have to be reviewed before they started putting it up? It does not seem like an appropriate fit for the rest of the building.
I can see how people might disagree on the Braniff Building renovation. The renovation plans were submitted to the Downtown Design Review Committee, there was some debate (which I reported), and the plans did pass. The argument for the modern glass addition was that the previous facade was an alley facade that bore no resemblance to the rest of the building. Purists argue that even if it consisted of bricks, no windows and a rough finish, that it's still to be preserved. Others would argue that the building's legendary architect, the late Solomon Andrew Layton, likely did not intend to have that alley facade be a prominent representation of his work - that it was designed to be hidden away from public view.
Do you expect any takers on the housing RPF for the new main street garage?
Yes! I do! I've visited with multiple respected developers who are wanting to pitch their plans for housing atop the future Main Street garage. I believe it's going to happen.
I've heard rumors of another high rise (40 stories) being built downtown. Any truth to this?
I've reported myself that one of the towers being considered will hit an estimated 40 stories high. I'm sticking with that.