Historic OKC Building To Become City's First Museum Hotel

Monday, March 7th 2016, 10:02 pm
By: News 9

Film Row, located on the western edge of downtown Oklahoma City, once housed film distribution offices for major Hollywood studios.

Changes in technology made those offices a thing of the past and the district fell into ruin.

Over the past few years, though, there's been a rebirth and now one hotel chain wants to be a part of this new cultural hub.

Built in 1916 by auto pioneer Henry Ford, the building located along Main Street downtown, housed a Model T production plant.

Fred Jones acquired the property in 1968, where workers continued to assemble Ford parts and build engines. Today - it's being re-imagined by 21c Museum Hotels.

"First and foremost this is a magnificent building originally built as a Ford assembly plant and everything that we've done and are doing is paying an homage to that," said 21c Museum Hotel general manager Matt Cowden.

The company has opened five other museum hotels across the United States; in Louisville, Cincinnati, Bentonville, Durham and Lexington. Molly Swyers is over the design team and said each location has its own unique flair but all are centered on art.

"Our founders are big art collectors and they focus on artwork created by living artists and so we are a combination contemporary art museum and boutique hotel with a chef driven restaurant and bar," she said.

This 168,000 square foot building will house six permanent works of art along with gallery spaces for rotating exhibitions.

"There's thought-provoking artwork but there's also a lot of artwork that has a sense of humor about it and a sense of whimsy and is just fun," Swyers said.

The hotel will offer 135 rooms, including 23 suites, some with expansive views of the city. They will have a contemporary feel mixed in with the original architecture. The existing penthouse will be restored into a 3,000-square-foot suite featuring a rooftop terrace, two bedrooms, and living and dining rooms.

"It will be very much different from what we have in Oklahoma City but from the standpoint that we have an amazing cultural center, a museum that is free to the public, very contemporary, very cutting edge and to have something like that fuel the arts here in Oklahoma City which is already amazing, I think that is exciting," Cowden said.

21c Oklahoma City is set to open this summer with special packages that run around $300 a night and up. The museum is free and open to the public.

Click here to check out the summer packages available to book now here.