Historic 'Gold Dome' Building In OKC Faces Foreclosure
OKLAHOMA CITY - An historic Oklahoma City building is in danger once again. The owner of the Gold Dome is facing foreclosure and the building set for public auction September 13.
Since it was built in 1958 The Gold Dome has become a Route 66 staple and an Oklahoma City icon.
"It's main significance is from its architecture, the use of the geodesic dome which is what everybody recognizes about the building," said Katie McLaughlin Friddle of Preservation Oklahoma, an organization that was instrumental in saving the building ten years ago.
Back then news that the wrecking ball was coming sparked months of protests. Through the efforts the Gold Dome was saved, Dr. Irene lam, an eye doctor, bought and renovated the building. In addition to the original mortgage, the City of Oklahoma City also loaned Dr. Iam a million dollars to make the deal happen.
"They haven't really made any principal payments, they've been making interest payments, not principal," said Russell Claus, Planning Director with the City of Oklahoma City.
Iam has also fallen behind in payments to Bank 7, who has foreclosed on the property and will put it up for public auction.
"Obviously it's an important historic and architectural icon for the city and we would certainly like to see it preserved. But once it goes out on the free market, it's anyone's guess what the ultimate outcome of the property will be," said Claus.
The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, however that won't save it from being torn down, if that's the intention of the new owner. However, those who fought to keep the building before say they will be watching closely.
"If it comes to a situation where someone says we want to tear it down and build a parking garage, we would want to have a say in that," said Friddle.
Dr. Iam says she is in the process of "working it out with the bank" in order to avoid the foreclosure.
A representative from Bank 7 would not comment on the proceedings.
The building is in the Design District which means the city has to approve demolition. However, a court could overrule that decision.