The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 August 2004

Saturday spottings (yet again)

The Montgomery, Richard Tanenbaum's transformation of the old Montgomery Ward store downtown into upscale corporate apartments, continues; I have no idea what he's done to the interior yet, but an enormous amount of accumulated crud has been scraped off the art-deco exterior at 500 West Main, and I can only wish he could work similar magic on the former Holiday Inn next door, newer yet somehow grubbier. The Montgomery, we are assured, will open in October.

Also being spruced up are some long-abandoned buildings along Walker, including a couple of former car dealerships, which are being converted into fresh office space. When the 65-foot clock tower on the northeast corner of 4th and Walker was built this past spring, it looked ever-so-slightly silly, but now that work has progressed, it fits nicely into developer Rick Dowell's design scheme. Eventually Dowell wants to build a high-rise residential tower, assuming the market for downtown housing isn't saturated any time soon.

Then there's the headquarters of Oklahoma City Beautiful, which has moved a mile up Classen without actually leaving its building: the original structure, near the now-departed Beverly's on the corner of 23rd, was picked up, driven up the street, and deposited near Memorial Park at 36th.

Of course, not everything I saw today was a sign of Better Times Coming. Up on the Lake Hefner Parkway I caught sight of a Scion xA with the vanity tag BRITFAN. Britain? Britney Spears? Brittany spaniels? Who knows?

Posted at 7:03 PM to City Scene