Local Architect Influences Metro Renaissance


Thursday, December 11th 2008, 9:09 pm
By: News 9


By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Rand Elliott is the architect behind several very recognizable structures throughout Oklahoma City. This Oklahoma native is known around the world for his civic designs, and throughout the metro for his inspiring architectural influences, like the arrow sculpture at the airport.

"There's a side of my personality that is very much appreciative of urban life," Elliott said.

From new restaurants to renovated theater houses, Elliott works to preserve history while creating something new in the structures themselves. He modernized and restored the Oklahoma Heritage Association. Even underneath the surface, Elliott has given Oklahoma City's underground an extensive facelift.

"Your hope is that it has touched people, that it has made a difference. That it will create a sense of pride in our community, and the people that are here. And it will introduce people to a new way of thinking about something," Elliott said.

Sitting on the north shore of the Oklahoma River, the Chesapeake Boathouse Elliott designed has positioned Oklahoma City as a center for aquatic sports after only two years.

"It has helped defined our position in the Olympic movement. When it comes to rowing and canoe, kayaking, that's great for the city. It's the type of thing that has brought attention from national and international media," Mike Knopp with the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation said.

Architecture can create a buzz, and in Oklahoma City, Elliott believes it has and that this renaissance will continue-- just as the light will continue to shine from another one of his creations, the Beacon of Hope, a monument he designed, representing life and the pioneering spirit of Oklahoma's people.

"For an architect, works are a legacy, and they are here. Hopefully they will stand for some time," Elliott said.