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Ties strong between Wayne and Michelle Coyne, Oklahoma City's 16th Street Plaza District

Oklahoman business writer Steve Lackmeyer looks at the ties between Oklahoma City's 16th Street Plaza District and Wayne and Michelle Coyne.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: July 24, 2012

It's a neighborhood the Coynes have repeatedly shown affection for — an area where he spent his youth, where he became a Grammy-winning musician who never bothered with a move to Los Angeles or flashier rock star digs. It's a neighborhood, I'm told, where Michelle Coyne checked on the well-being of her elderly neighbors.

It's a neighborhood in which the Coynes frequently boast the coolest, most unusual Halloween displays. And when the mayor's kid wants to come by to see the giant “brain” on the Coynes' front lawn, they're there to greet him as they would any other fan.

The Plaza District and Classen-10-Penn neighborhood are prominent in numerous Wayne Coyne stories. He did a fascinating interview with The Oklahoman's Gene Triplett in 2007 about how he first saw Pink Floyd's “Live at Pompeii” at the old Plaza Theater's midnight movies.

In between their world tours, the Coynes manage to give back to their community — even if it is sometimes awkwardly, such as with what more conventional types see as shocking, outlandish art displays.

Michelle Coyne volunteers on the MAPS 3 parks subcommittee and the city's arts commission. They also give their time to community charity fundraisers and are generous in their efforts to boost the city's creative class.

It's that ongoing accessibility and showmanship that served as the spark for NW 16. Whether it be a street festival, a special burlesque show at Saints or just an average day on the strip, the odds are high the Coynes might just be there to share in the fun — and cheer on the city's ongoing revival.

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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The Urban Pioneer Awards will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. For more information, call Kristen Vails at 367-9403 or email kristen@plazadistrict.org.

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