Local Organization Offers to Save Wavy Bank Structure

Friday, May 3, 2019

Contact: Melissa Hunt
Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture
Phone: (405) 948-7174
Email: okcarchitecture@cox.net

Photograph By: Lynne Rostochil

(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) The Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture (OCFA) sent a Letter of Intent to Lease the Central National Motor Bank Annex (aka "the wavy bank building") to Oklahoma City Public Schools today. The Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture is willing to assume the repair, liability and ongoing maintenance of the structure as a solution to save the iconic piece of architecture.

The OCFA Board of Directors believes the Foundation has the track record, interest and resources to make this endeavor successful. The organization was formed 20 years ago to save the abandoned and endangered First Church of Christ, Scientist building at 1200 North Robinson Avenue. The OCFA owned and maintained the building for almost a decade and in that time placed the building on the National Register of Historic Places. The building remains today because of the efforts of the Foundation.

The Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture believes the "wavy bank building" is deserving of such care and protection for its distinctive roof design. The structure retains great architectural character that should be preserved.


The Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture promotes design excellence in the physical environment through projects and education. You can read more about OCFA at www.okcarchitecture.com


Save the Date! Oklahoma Modernism Weekend

Get You OKC Foundation for Architecture Shirt!


$20.00 each (S-XL) (XXL $22)


If you'd like to pick up, rather than pay for shipping, please change your shipping method in the cart.

We will accept orders through February 8th and shirts will be ready around February 22nd.

Streetcar and Architecture Tour on January 26!

Join us on Saturday, January 26th at 10:00 a.m. to learn about our fabulous downtown Oklahoma City Architecture while riding the new streetcar!

Our tour guide will be Oklahoma City Architect, Anthony McDermid, AIA, RIBA.

Anthony and his business partner John Ward founded The Architectural Partnership (TAP ARCHITECTURE) in downtown Oklahoma City in 1988. Anthony has design credentials for over one thousand projects in Oklahoma and across the nation and on several continents. In recent years, he had the opportunity to affect the urban landscape in Oklahoma City with visionary urban planning and designs that have helped reinvent downtown Oklahoma City. Anthony is not only a Licensed Architect in the state of Oklahoma but also a Licensed European Union Architect. His vast community involvement includes past President of The City Rescue Mission, AIA Oklahoma past President, and has received the Leadership Oklahoma City Paragon Award.


We will meet at the Downtown Library stop at 10:00 a.m. at 300 West Park Avenue. The stop is on the West side of the Library. The tour will last approximately one hour, depending on the stops along the route and we will end back at the Library stop.

This tour is FREE but we ask that attendees register in advance so we know how many to expect.


Please note:

Due to limited seating on the street car, some of our tour goers may have to stand during the tour.

Street parking is available nearby, especially along Main Street, Colcord Dr, Couch Dr, Hudson Ave, and Park Ave (street parking is free on Saturdays). The Arts District Parking Garage is also nearby at 431 W Main St (fees apply).







Drinks x Design

Friday, September 9, 2016
6:00 p.m.

Experience downtown OKC like never before!
The Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture presents Drinks X Design.
Hop on a party bus and take a behind-the-scenes tour of four architectural firms while indulging in unique offerings from local brewers and restaurants.

Limited Seating.

Ticket price includes:
-Ride on the party bus
-Firm tours
-Beer and food
-Coffee and dessert
-Commemorative pint glass


OCFA Members: $50.00 ($60.00 after September 3)
Verify membership here / Join the OKC Foundation for Architecture for $25

Nonmembers: $60.00 ($70.00 after September 3)


Join us for the next Quarterly Tour!




Join the Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture on Saturday, August 1 for a Tour of the Oklahoma Capitol.

Learn about the planned restoration projects as well as a little Capitol History.

The tour will be lead by:

Trait Thompson, State Capitol Project Manager

Trait Thompson

Duane Mass, AIA, State Capitol Architect


Fred Schmidt, FAIA, Interior Restoration Project Architect



J.C. Witcher, AIA Exterior Restoration Project Architect

Saturday, August 1
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.


Tickets Purchased in Advance:
OKC Foundation for Arch Member: $5
Nonmember: $10


Day of the Tour:
Everyone: $15



Join us for a Sunday Stroll Along Broadway!


Sunday Stroll on Broadway

Join the Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture for a Sunday Stroll on Broadway on Sunday, October 26th from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Massive, bulky, straightforward. Early automobile showrooms are in all downtowns. It was a new building type to service a new type of merchandise that could be purchased right on Main Street. Automobile Alley was home to 52 of the first 76 dealerships in Oklahoma City. These steel-reinforced, poured-in-place structures feature interior auto ramps, auto elevators, and rooftop parking. The district includes a number of "holes"-those surface parking lots originally used for new and used car sales. It is not your typical commercial Main Street district.

This tour will not only take you on a nostalgic trip of the models of yesteryear but it also will show what new uses are possible for these dealerships. Projects will include office conversions, light industries, lofts, dance studios, non-profit organizations, restaurants, and retail as well as automotive related businesses. Indoor first floor parking that converts to major party space keeps large showrooms just as they were! Many of these projects qualified for the investment tax credits, making for bumper to bumper great deals for the owners!

Catherine Montgomery, AIA of Preservation and Design Studio and Ron Frantz, AIA of the University of Oklahoma, College of Architecture will lead a tour along Automobile Alley.

Cost: $5 for OKC Foundation for Architecture Members / $10 for nonmembers


Oklahoma’s 26th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference

2014 Statewide Preservation Conference

University of Oklahoma Campus, Norman

June 4-6, 2014

Join Preservation Oklahoma in Norman for Historic Preservation ABCs: Oklahoma’s 26th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference. The conference will be held June 4-6 in Norman on the University of Oklahoma campus. Over forty speakers from Oklahoma and across the country will participate through lectures, roundtables, tours, and special workshops.

Design professionals who attend the conference will qualify for HSW hours needed to fulfill requirements of the State of Oklahoma’s Board of Governors of Licensed Architects, Landscape Architects, and Interior Designers. Simply register for the conference and sign in at the SHPO’s table in the registration area. There are no additional fees for this service. A certificate of attendance will be mailed to participants after the conference. Self report your attendance to the board. (The State Historic Preservation Office is not an AIA Registered Provider so AIA credits will not be reported to AIA). If you have questions, please contact Melvena Heisch, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, at mheisch@okhistory.org.

More detailed information on the conference, as well as online registration, can be found at: http://iqc.ou.edu/events/preservation/

Historic Preservation Workshops planned for residents and architects

Oklahomans interested in getting practical advice on how to build, renovate or add on to a business or home in a historical area are invited to attend one of two free historic preservation workshops offered through the cities of Oklahoma City and Norman.

Featured speakers Lynn Taylor and Ron Frantz will make presentations during both events. Lynn Taylor, owner of Taylor Made Plans in Nashville, TN, is an infill home designer who specializes in preserving the historic integrity of neighborhoods while offering modern amenities. Ron Frantz, AIA, is the AIA Director of Great Plains Studio of the Institute for Quality Communities (IQC) at the University of Oklahoma. Frantz brings experience in commercial revitalization from his many years as architect for the Oklahoma Main Street Center.

The workshops are ideal for residents or architects who are considering adding on to a historic or older home or business, or those interested in constructing a new building in an older neighborhood.

Norman - Thursday, September 12
Norman's Historic Preservation Workshop takes place from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Thursday, September 12 in the City Council Chamber, 201 West Gray Street. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. and presentations begin at 8:30 a.m. The morning session will cater to homeowners who want to add on to their homes or are considering building a new home in a historic neighborhood.

The afternoon session features practical advice on how to build or renovate a building in a historic commercial area. The session includes a mini charette and a walking tour of the Porter Avenue Commercial Corridor. Contact Susan Atkinson, 366-5392, susan.atkinson@normanok.gov to register.

Oklahoma City - Friday, September 13
Oklahoma City's Historic Preservation Workshop takes place from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday, September 13 in the Civic Center Music Hall's Joel Levine Rehearsal Hall, 201 N Walker. The morning session is from 8:30 a.m. to noon and features practical advice on how to build or renovate a building in a historic commercial area. The session includes a mini charette and a walking tour of Automobile Alley.

The afternoon session is from 1 to 4 p.m. and will cater to homeowners who want to add on to their homes or are considering building a new home in a historic neighborhood. Contact Katie Friddle at Kathryn.friddle@okc.gov or 297- 3084 to register.

The events are sponsored by the Norman Historic District Commission and Oklahoma City's Historic Preservation Commission and made possible by a grant from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, through the Oklahoma Historic Preservation Office Certified Local Government (CLG) program.

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.): “It’s Not Where You Start in Life”

A military and diplomatic leader shares his journey

By Mike Singer, AIA Architect Newsletter 

"It's not where you start in life, it's where you end up and what did you do along the way," said General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) during the closing keynote address at the 2013 AIA Convention in Denver."Did you invest in yourself? Did you educate yourself? Did you have expectations of yourself?" asked the retired four-star U.S. Army general as he shared leadership lessons from his remarkable 50-year military and diplomatic career.Powell was born in Harlem and was raised in the South Bronx by a father who never graduated from high school and a mother who, according to Powell, felt somewhat superior to her husband because she did. Both parents worked in the garment industry. Ethics and expectations were ingrained at an early age."They were determined that the next generation do better," Powell said of his parents, who immigrated to the United States from Jamaica in search of economic opportunity. "The two things they put into our hearts and minds-'We have expectations of you to do better than we do, and expect you to take advantage of the education system. And don't do anything that would bring a sense of shame on the family.'"Powell, who served as national security advisor to President Ronald Reagan, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and U.S. Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, holds the distinction of being the first African-American ever to serve in these posts.

He began his military career in an Army ROTC program at the City College of New York (CCNY), where he graduated in 1958 with a B.S. in geology. Decades later, he dedicated the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service at his alma mater, with a mission to develop a new generation of publicly engaged leaders.

"My professors of long ago would be rolling over in their graves," joked Powell, as he shared how one-third of CCNY's graduates are from a school named after him. He admitted to being an average student in most subjects, including a drafting class he dropped out of after two months. "It was in summer school, and I was taking a drafting class, and the professor said, 'Imagine a plane in space at an angle of 60 degrees being intersected by a cone, and draw the resulting figure,' and I said 'I am out of here.'"

Powell found his true calling and excelled in the school's ROTC program. He received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation and served in the U.S. Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of four-star general.


"No unimportant people in any organization"

"I don't know of any other way to manage or lead people than the way I was taught in the Army," said Powell. "What they taught me at Fort Benning was the motto of the infantry school: 'Follow me.' But the focus was on the verb 'follow' and 'followership.'

"And what they drilled into me, and I've never forgotten since, is that the role of the leader is to put the followers in the best possible light. They're the ones that get it done. Your role is to put human beings entrusted to your care in the best possible environment to accomplish the job, to get the mission done. You need to be there, outwardly looking at the world and inwardly looking at your followers."

During his talk to a near-capacity crowd, Powell drew upon leadership lessons he described in It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, his 2012 New York Times bestseller that he autographed after his talk.

"What I drilled into all my subordinates over the years was [that] there are no unimportant people at any organization," Powell told the packed auditorium. "Everybody has value. Everybody is a human being. And you have to treat everybody in that way, and develop that bond of common purpose. When you treat them as a trusted follower, they will follow you anywhere."

Challenges of leadership in a digital age

In a convention focused on leadership, Powell shared that leadership is about having a vision, hiring the best possible people to work for you, empowering them to get the job done, and leading with a strong human touch. "Leadership is a very human activity. You can't be a leader without human beings," he said.

Powell also stressed the need to always look out for what's ahead. For a man who grew up in the era of only three television channels that all signed off for the day at 11 p.m. with the national anthem, Powell spoke of how the world is so much more interconnected now. "People are talking to each other on the Internet. You can't hide anything anymore. You need to understand the nature of this complex world where everybody is connected. I was born in an analog age, but [am] trying to keep up digitally," Powell said.

A former member of the board of AOL, Powell is now a strategic advisor at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm that helped launch Google, Amazon, and other technology startups.

Yet the basic lessons from his Army days still hold true: "Followers are looking for leaders who have physical and moral courage," Powell said. "Followers are looking for leaders who have integrity. Followers are looking for leaders who are selfless, always focusing on the purpose of the organization and taking care of the troops that can get it done. That's what leadership is all about."

General Colin L. Powell (Ret.) giving the keynote speech at the 2013 AIA Convention. Photo by MattMartin.tv


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