Two Historic Buildings Imploded In Downtown OKC
OKLAHOMA CITY - The landscape of Oklahoma City's downtown changed forever Sunday as two historic buildings were demolished.
In a matter of seconds – the Black Hotel and adjacent Motor Hotel along Hudson Avenue were gone.
“I was teared up,” said longtime Oklahoma City resident Blue Fox. “I don't even know why, I’ve been in Oklahoma City my whole life and just to see things go away.”
The historic buildings were built in the early 1930’s, but fell victim to urban renewal in the 1970s and eventually closed. They were later converted to office space.
“It is sad because of all the history, because of everything that has happened in those buildings,” said Peggy Kates with Midwest Wrecking Company, the company conducting the implosion. “A lot of memories for a lot of people.”
The buildings are among the nine historic structures city council voted to demolish including the Lunch Box, Union Bus Station and Carpenter Square Theater, all to make way for 499 Sheridan - the development of a 27 level office tower and 9 and 10 level parking garages. The plans also include retail space and a garden plaza.
“There's a lot of fun and amazing things happening in Oklahoma City, downtown and Midtown but as far as building new office buildings, I’m not super excited about that,” said Phillip Fox, who lives in Midtown.
And he’s not alone. Many people opposed the demolition of the historic buildings, including the group Preservation Oklahoma.
"The downtown design review committee voted to demolish the majority of our last remaining stretch of our Main Street,” David Pettyjohn, executive director for Preservation Oklahoma, when council voted back in January. “We have the potential of losing a major part of our history."
But excited crowds lined up early to watch and record a new history in the making.
“I wasn't sure what to expect, it was fun to watch,” said Fox.
The developers said they do plan to save the old signs for Union Bus Station and the Lunch Box, to use as markers of the buildings existence.