The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

9 January 2003

Positive tunnel vision

It's called the Metro Conncourse, and no, that's not a typo: it's named for Jack Conn, chairman of the old Fidelity Bank downtown, who with Dean A. McGee led development of Oklahoma City's pedestrian tunnels. The first link, under Broadway at Park Avenue, opened in 1931; over the years, the network of tunnels has expanded to most of downtown. Recently, Bricktown, east of downtown and off the Conncourse, has gotten most of the attention, and the tunnels have been mostly neglected.

Until now. A $3 million master plan for renovation of the tunnels will attempt to make them hip once again, with improvements to both the tunnels and the sidewalk entrances, and the addition of historical galleries to brighten up the rather bland interior. With the new plan comes a new name: "The Underground". Maybe too hip for this crowd, but I've always thought that the tunnels were one of the niftier aspects of downtown, and perking them up is something that's long overdue, especially if downtown promoters expect to pick up on any of the Bricktown frenzy. It's probably not possible to extend The Underground to Bricktown — the canal might get in the way — but right now, it's more important to remind people that it exists at all.

Posted at 7:20 AM to City Scene

I agree with you. I worked downtown for several years in the mid 1980's and used to love the eating places in the tunnel. A few years ago I was called for jury duty and couldn't wait to go down in the tunnel but to my shock and amazement nearly all of the places I loved were gone :(
So this new plan meets with my full approval.

Posted by: ms7168 at 11:09 PM on 9 January 2003

And in the winter — well, anything beats trying to climb up Robinson against the wind. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 7:48 PM on 10 January 2003