OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Renovations at the state’s historic Jim Thorpe Office Building are underway. 

“It falls on us to take care of these buildings. Behind us is our past and our future,” said Nathan Wald, OMES Capital Assets Management Administrator.

Jim Thorpe Office Building renovations.
Jim Thorpe Office Building renovations. Image KFOR.

The building, on Lincoln Blvd in Oklahoma City, was built in 1938. A groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the renovation project was held Monday morning. 

“Our whole purpose is to make sure that public funds are expended properly and that they’re expended in the best possible way to make this building not just beautiful, but functional and usable for many years to come,” said Brandy Wreath, the chairman of the Jim Thorpe Repair Expenditure Oversight Committee. “This is a mammoth undertaking that is happening.”

Project leaders say the 3-year, $70 million project includes three major components: the exterior of the site, the core and common spaces and the tenant spaces. 

Jim Thorpe Office Building renovations.
Jim Thorpe Office Building renovations. Image KFOR.

“We’ll get into the foundation and restore that core and common spaces,” said Wald. “The tenant spaces are going to get a facelift, right? We’ve got paint. We have carpet.”

Matthew Thomas of QUAD Construction told KFOR the radio tower on top of the building will be coming down. 

“And there’s talk of having a really nice roof terrace on the outside of the building,” said Thomas. 

All this work will be done while preserving the building’s history. 

Shovels lined up in the ground.
Jim Thorpe Office Building renovations. Image KFOR.

“The lights from the 1930s, it’s an amazing sight,” said Wald. “Those reliefs carved in the wall, we’ve got to keep those to tell the history of us, right?”

House Representative Mark McBride authored a bill in 2022 that funds this project. Rep. McBride said after this, he plans on tackling another one. 

“I hate to see things fall into disrepair,” said Rep. McBride. “I’m going to try to do all I can to preserve these buildings that we have here in the state of Oklahoma.”

The project is expected to be complete by the end of June 2026.