Here today, gone tomorrow

Oh, I’m sorry. It was gone yesterday:

Another mid-century landmark, the former Founders Bank, is being destroyed this week as new development continues to encroach on 1960s architecture that once dominated the skyline along Northwest Expressway and May Avenue.

The football-shaped Founders National Bank building at 5613 N. May, built in 1964, is anchored by two 50-foot exterior arches. It was last home to Bank of America.

What used to be Founders Bank

Preservation Oklahoma placed the bank on its endangered places list earlier this year. The committee that assembled the list noted the former Founders Bank is one of Oklahoma City’s best examples of mid-century modern architecture, and it’s the only known local design of the architect and former Bruce Goff student, Bob Bowlby. The building’s arches, a landmark on North May Avenue and Northwest Expressway, removed the need for any interior walls inside the bank.

A building permit for demolition was filed at City Hall Monday morning at the same time Midwest Wrecking began tearing down the structure.

Clearly they didn’t want anyone noticing until it was too late.


  1. fillyjonk »

    9 October 2018 · 10:48 am

    it kinda makes me low-level sad that a lot of the “odd” distinctive swoopy midcentury buildings (a style I remember, though I have never been to this particular location) are being knocked down and replaced by much blander and uniform-seeming things.

    I’ve looked at my hometown on Google Earth recently and I don’t recognize much of it, and the town where I went to grad school (where my parents live) has changed greatly as well.

    I suppose being sad about it and cranky about the dumb bland new buildings is my prerogative given I am turning 50 soon.

  2. nightfly »

    9 October 2018 · 2:14 pm

    If you’ve never seen it before, there’s a kid named Jake who runs a YouTube channel called Bright Sun Films. One of his series is called “Abandoned” and it details many such old structures, as well as companies lost to time. This reminds me of the episode he did about the oddly-shaped bank building in South Florida that eventually became home to its reclusive and eccentric owner, who built a penthouse retreat atop the structure, complete with a separate elevator to go in and out.

    Jake has come leaps and bounds since the earliest episodes: there was one where he was able to conduct a long interview (via skype) with one of the principle owners of one such venture (it was the episode about a former Disney-affiliated resort island in the “Big Red Boat” days). Kid really knows his stuff.

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