SpecialEducation

Automobile Alley - Oklahoma City

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In case you haven't heard, hundreds of Buicks will be converging on the Oklahoma City metro area in 2019.  I have spent a considerable amount of time in OKC, and was down there last weekend, so I thought I would share some images to pique some interest in the upcoming national event.

 

I’ll be down that way again soon and will grab some images of some of the other great features like the Magnolia Oil building when the light is better...

 

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Merry Christmas from the first Oklahoma City dealership on Automobile Alley.  Built in 1911, the 1st floor was the showroom, upstairs was the inventory (elevator & turntable still intact), and the service department was in the basement. 60 more showrooms for various makes would appear in the district in coming years, but this Buick dealership was the first.  By 1916, the area along Broadway between 4th & 13th had been dubbed “Automobile Alley” by local residents. 

 

Now Red PrimeSteak, the Buick logo is still visible in the top center of the building.  The building to right was the home of a now defunct newspaper.

 

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Merry Christmas from the Buick Building at 10th & Broadway, arguably the centerpiece of OKC's Automobile Alley.

 

More to come...

 

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Here’s an interesting article from last summer:   http://newsok.com/article/5502265_IGP0037-3.thumb.jpg.2f0f7e69b7f53a038434b14f6a91db05.jpgIMGP3769.jpg.6331d7149c2d747e07c5d4ce37c3ad60.jpg_IGP0032-3.thumb.jpg.d4fff453f18d2912a641f0b6b376d6ef.jpg

 

Various markers are scattered throughout the sidewalks of Automobile Alley. Some are generic trivia plaques, some note the historical significance of various locations. 

 

 

 

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There’s lots of great signage in the district, some vintage, some reproductions...

 

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Another view of Red at 504 N Broadway, looking south toward downtown. They have a meeting room called the Buick Loft, but you might check their prices before getting excited about booking. http://redprimesteak.com/buick-loft

 

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Various signs remind you that you are in the Historic Automobile Alley district. 

 

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There’s lots of great architectural features off Broadway as well...

 

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Construction of the Oklahoma City Streetcar project is currently evident in front of the Oklahoma City University School of Law. A block west of Broadway on Robinson, it was built in 1910 as the Oklahoma High School, the first in OKC. The architect also designed the State Capitol building.  The streetcar should be up & running in 2018. 

 

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These stairs used to be in the Marion Hotel facing the south side of the Buick Building on 10th street. 

 

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In about 2001/2002, I was working in Sonic’s world headquarters at 101 Park Avenue. As I was heading home to Nichols Hills each night (usually in my Skyhawk Convertible), I drove past much of the in-process renovation work. I would drive up Broadway to 10th, where I would turn right to get on I-235. This is one building that I watched considerable progress on.  Back then it was the Bank of Nichols Hills. 

 

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This building has been many things, but when I first came to Oklahoma City it was home of the Journal Record newspaper.  When I came down here as a newspaper photographer on assignment after the federal building bombing, the sidewalk in front was lined with generators connected to extension cords going up into the windows above to keep the newsroom operational.  This building now houses the memorial museum. 

 

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The Survivor tree on the right quickly became a symbol of remembrance following the 1995 event. The memorial is best photographed in the spring, so I’ll return for better photos later. 

 

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Edited by SpecialEducation
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Wonderful photos, Matt! Automobile Alley's historic district and the OKC National Memorial and its museum will be one of the tours during the 2019 BCA national meet. I was up there two weekends ago laying  the groundwork for some of this. The first floor of the 1927 Buick building is now a restaurant, and I am trying to arrange for the tours to have lunch in the building. They even have a restored 1934 or 1935 Buick convertible inside the restaurant! It is a fascinating part of Oklahoma City.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

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9 minutes ago, Pete Phillips said:

 They even have a restored 1934 or 1935 Buick convertible inside the restaurant!

 

Yeah, above I linked to an article regarding the placement of the ‘35 upstairs. That had to be a nerve wracking project!

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Not such a beautiful day in OKC today, but I’ll post up a few more anyway. 

 

 

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What better place to park your Park Avenue, than on Park Avenue?!  The historic Skirvin (center) was built in 1911.  When I worked at Sonic, I parked in the Santa Fe garage (far right), and walked to 101 Park (left of the Skirvin). Rain, snow, or whatever, my feet were never wet or cold. How? Funny you should ask....

 

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See the hole in the ground?  That’s access to The Underground, aka the OKC Conncourse. This network connects many of the buildings & garages, and has a variety of shopping & eating establishments serving downtown workers. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer!

 

http://downtownokc.com/underground/

 

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Here’s a detail from the 1911 dealership. 

 

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A few more views up Broadway. Note the cars in the upstairs windows in that top pic...

 

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There are a number of parks & memorials in the downtown area. The last pic is looking down on NW 5th & Robinson. 

 

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Robinson south of downtown is Automobile Alley’s lesser known cousin, Hubcap Alley. This is where you parts scavengers will head if there’s something you are looking for. Lots of auto salvaging down in this neighborhood.  I’m down here more than I’m downtown.  Today I was looking at an Electra, hoping it would have some good parts for Bertha. Struck out.

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Edited by SpecialEducation (see edit history)
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I was going to try to get some photos of my big, blue, 364 powered, Flint-built beauty (a.k.a. Fitz) in downtown OKC today, but schedules didn't allow.  I'll be down there next weekend though.  If yer in the area, I'll be performing at the bombing memorial March 10 at 1:00. We also have a show in the evening. Visit www.fedsmusic.com for details.

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Matt, thanks for posting the photos on here of the old Buick dealership building.  Since the BCA National Meet is being held in OKC in 2019, it would really be cool if a bunch of the Buicks attending would caravan over to the restaurant and show off the cars while having a nice meal.  However, the trailer queen set will not hear to driving their vehicles except on to a show field and then back to the trailer.  Think about all of the fun that could had doing something like this.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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17 hours ago, Terry Wiegand said:

the trailer queen set

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Back to class warfare and you are on the BOD of the BCA.  Disgusting!

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