Planning underway for weekend implosion in Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Out with the old, in with the new.

A pair of vacant buildings in downtown Oklahoma City is set for implosion this weekend.

The old Hotel Black and the motor hotel near Sheridan and Hudson will be torn down to make way for some high rise office buildings.

City officials approved street closures ahead of the weekend implosion on Wednesday.

The road closures start at 8 a.m. Saturday to give crews time to get last minute preparations in place.

The Hotel Black and the motor hotel are among nine other buildings the city cleared for demolition.

The Union Bus Station, now gone, the Lunch Box, and the Carpenter Square Theater are among the others. Many have been downtown for decades, some since 1917.

Local preservationist say the progress comes with a cost.

“That last block of Main Street, there are still four historic structures that are standing. But that entire block was historic and those buildings have already been demolished. So we no longer have an intact block of our original main street, and now we are losing two more buildings,” said David Pettyjohn.

Pettyjohn is the executive director for preservation Oklahoma. The group tried to save the historic buildings.

“It's a part of our past. When people think of history, they think of newspaper articles. But we walk around history everyday through our buildings and what they represent. We are also losing that unique architectural style,” he said.

A project, called the 499 Sheridan Project, will take the place of the imploded buildings. It’s a 27-level office tower and parking garage.

Devon Energy will use much of the office space in the building. The plan also calls for retail spaces and a garden plaza.

Hines is the developer behind the project. They declined our request for an interview.

Despite the effort by preservationists to save the buildings, many downtown business have come out in support of the new development.

The actual implosion starts at 8 a.m. Sunday.

The roads around the site should be back open before 5 p.m. Sunday evening.

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