The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

27 May 2006

Saturday spottings (with dozers)

From this very department, December 2004:

Rumors that [Bradford] Commons would be sold have persisted, and KGOU radio reported this week that the University of Oklahoma, one rumored buyer, isn't interested. I haven't heard that the Commons are going to be Cabrini-Greened out of existence, but at this point, I wouldn't be surprised to see bulldozers heading down 8th Street.

They've been there, and for the most part, they've done that. About two-thirds of the ill-fated apartment complex has been razed in anticipation of expansion by the Presbyterian Health Foundation, which up to now has stayed on the west side of Lincoln. When I lived out northeast and worked downtown, I passed by this place pretty much every day, and I never quite imagined it gone; then again, by all accounts it had become a hellhole in recent years, and, well, you know how people feel about hellholes.

Another known but somehow still unexpected vacancy was at 10th and Martin Luther King, this big empty space where Douglass High School used to be. Of course, the new Douglass is just to the south, and eventually this space will be filled by new athletic facilities, but it's still jarring if you haven't been by there lately, which I haven't.

33 NE 7th St (artist's conception)After all this destruction, I was in the mood for some construction, so I made a point of checking, one more time, the new ultra-modern Blankenship residence going in at 7th and Oklahoma, which is just about complete. I still think it's incredibly cool, and I hope that it inspires others in town to build similarly nifty houses, if only because our really different-looking buildings (the Golden Dome, Stage Center, and such) tend to be public institutions rather than private homes, and had I a whole lot more money than I do, I'd like to live in something that doesn't look like anything else. (This picture is an artist's conception, snatched from Downtown OKC's Skyline Snapshot and cropped ever so slightly.) Not that I'm unhappy with where I am, which is one of the more charmingly eccentric single-story houses in town, but there's a lot to be said for going beyond charmingly eccentric to outright weird, especially if it's done well. (God forbid I should ever hire a decorator; she will wash her hands of me within mere minutes.)

Posted at 5:50 PM to City Scene