What could have been just another surface parking lot is about to get its first test as a “place” — a venue that contributes more back to the neighborhood than just spots for cars.
The Guardian Parking at Park Place and Harvey, built to support the adjoining Packard, Hadden Hall and Guardian buildings being redeveloped by MidTown Renaissance, already has won accolades for its designer, architect Brian Fitzsimmons, from the American Institute of Architects Central States Design Awards.
To create the idea of a parking lot that is more than just parking, Fitzsimmons used a series of lit screen-mesh fencing and coverings that create a transparent structure that also can double as an outdoor marketplace. For residents of the nearby buildings, the design provides safe, secured parking. For the neighborhood, it might just create the sort of festival spot that can take MidTown to the next step in its decade-long revival.
The test comes Thursday with the inaugural 6 Degrees of Bacon, presented by the Oklahoma Pork Council with food vendors, including Stella's, Brown's Bakery, Kaiser's, Cafe do Brazil, Packard's New American Kitchen (a newcomer set to open in the Packard building this next year), 1492 and Red Prime Steakhouse.
In addition to providing guests with a sampling of bacon-inspired cuisine, the festival also will include a bacon art show, silent auction, free beer from COOP Ale Works, a cash bar for wine and cocktails, and a gift raffle.
If 6 Degrees of Bacon is a hit, don't be surprised if the Guardian Parking becomes a new festival spot for MidTown — and maybe, just maybe, the idea of turning otherwise mundane surface parking into architectural showcases in areas where such parking is bountiful (think Bricktown), might just catch on.
If you go
6 Degrees of Bacon will be hosted 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the covered Guardian Parking along Harvey Avenue at Park Place (between NW 10 and NW 11). The event is open to ages 21 and up. Tickets are $20 in advance. To purchase tickets, call 235-3500 or visit Suite 225 in Leadership Square, 211 N Robinson Ave.