OKLAHOMA CITY – The Beatles had just landed for the first time in America and the ‘baby boom’ era was coming to an end.
In 1964, a landmark on N. May opened its doors.
It’s a piece of mid-century modern architecture that could now be in danger.
“That the owners are wanting to develop the land around the building and the building is not included in their plans,” Lynne Rostochil, founder of Mod Squad, said.
It’s the rumor many Oklahomans keep hearing, and they are now working to stop any demolition from coming to the mid-century building.
They’re now circulating a petition that’s been signed more than 800 times in less than a week.
“Maybe encourage the owners to change the development plans to incorporate the building into what they want to do,” Rostochil said.
According to the group, this northwest Oklahoma City building was Architect Bob Bowlby’s first piece of work after graduating from the University of Oklahoma. It’s also his only design in his hometown.
We talked with Bowlby about his work’s possible demise.
He said in a statement, “My design and the subsequent building of the Founders National Bank building of 1964 is, I think, a one of a kind and interesting example of the contemporary Oklahoma architectural scene in its mid-century period and as such should be kept if at all possible as part of the architectural heritage of Oklahoma City. Surely, an effort could be made by the new owners to find some new and suitable usage of the building.”
Supporters say they are hoping it won’t turn into another Stage Center scenario.
Stage Center in downtown Oklahoma City was torn down to make way for a new high rise building. Those development plans are now reportedly in jeopardy.
“Seeing it go down would be really heartbreaking. The one that happened in downtown, it kind of hits home and makes me sick to my stomach,” Paige Smiley said.
Only a rumor now, but this group is hoping to stay ahead of the game before any official plans are made.
“It’s a great building. It’s in great shape. It’s been occupied the entire time and there’s no reason to tear it down,” Rostochil said.
Currently, a Bank of America is housed in this location.
We reached out to the owner of the property, but have not heard back.