Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Old City Hall Update

In this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly, there is an article about the future of the Old City Hall.  There are a few interesting comments about the site, but nothing too shocking.  Like I mentioned in the previous post about the Old City Hall, city officials are hoping the site will be developed into a "convention-class hotel."  I don't know what a convention-class hotel is, but I am guessing it's a hotel designed around hosting conventions?  Anyway, the City did not receive any official proposals by the March 31 deadline.  Given the size of the proposed project, it is no surprise that the current economic situation is cited as one of the reasons for lack of interest in the site.  Although, a few City Councilors believe the lack of interest is also due to the difficult nature of developing a site with the Central Library and the County Courthouse in close proximity and the deterioration of the plaza.  While there is more bad news, there is also some good news; Mike Bunney, an economic development officer with the City, is quoted as saying that the City is open to adaptive reuse possibilities, meaning that the developer would reuse the existing building.  The bad news is that Bunney also states that all the developers interested in the site have commented that the building will have to be razed.  I suppose the positive side of this is that the City isn't planning on demolishing the building on the hopes that someone will develop the site, which is what often happened with urban renewal in the 1970s.  Now, they are at least giving the developer the opportunity to use the existing building.  Maybe someday the City will make adaptive reuse mandatory for redevelopment downtown.                

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meadow Gold Sign

Tulsa's historic Meadow Gold sign is finally going back up.  For those that may not know, the Meadow Gold sign was a neon sign put up in the 1930s at 11th & Lewis by Meadow Gold Dairy, which is a brand that at one time was owned by Beatrice Foods.  This project started back in 2004 when TFA was awarded a grant from the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor to restore the Meadow Gold sign, which was mounted on top of a small one-story building.  Soon after the project began, ownership of the building (and sign) changed.  The new owner soon made it clear he planned to demolish both the building and the sign.  Through the efforts of the National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Tulsa Foundation for Architecture, the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, and multiple articles about the endangered sign, funding was sought and awarded from the City of Tulsa's Vision 2025 initiative to save the historic sign.  Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor will officiate the public dedication of the sign on May 22, lighting the sign for the first time since the 1970s.  Here are a few pictures of the sign going back up.