Future Of Historic Gold Dome Uncertain

Thursday, March 14th 2013, 10:22 pm
By: News 9

An Oklahoma City landmark known as the Gold Dome may soon meet a wrecking ball.

The owner of the iconic building along Classen Blvd. is considering tearing the structure down.

Anyone who has been to the Asian District will recognize the building at Classen Blvd. and NE 23rd St. It's a point of interest along Route 66, and its golden luster has proudly glistened in northwest Oklahoma City for 55 years.

"It's different," area worker Debbie Armstrong said. "It kind of needs to stay around."

Gold Dome owner David Box tells News 9 he has applied for a demolition permit through Oklahoma City. Box insists the permit is only a way to keep his options open.

"We've been trying to look at ways to make the dome work," Box said. "The City of Oklahoma City has already spent close to a million dollars on the building."

Box bought the building at Sheriff's sale auction in September. Not long after the purchase, Box says repair work and maintenance bills began to mount. That misfortune turned the venture into a cost-prohibitive situation, according to Box.

"I bought it at a Sheriff's sale because I love the Gold Dome, but so far, it doesn't look good," Box said.

Regardless of the situation, dollar signs don't mean much to residents who don't care what it takes to keep the dome standing.

"The owner, he should let it be," Oklahoma City resident T.C. Burks said. "Just restore it or do something -- put something else in there."

Others are looking to Oklahoma City to step in again.

"The City of Oklahoma City should buy it and turn it into something," Oklahoma City resident Randy Culver said.

The dome started out as a bank in 1958, which means it's difficult for even the oldest of Baby Boomers to recall a time without "the gold."

"If you want to tell somebody how to get somewhere, [the dome] always seems to come up," Culver said.

Box says he is looking for buyers to take the dome off his hands. If the building is to be demolished, that decision will need to be approved by the city's Urban Design Commission.

This is not the first time there have been talks of demolishing the dome. Previous attempts were met by protest. The building is currently vacant.