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

Realtor: Potential buyers lined up for Stage Center


By Molly M. Fleming
The Journal Record
Posted: 04:48 PM Monday, February 25, 2013 4:48 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY - It's not every day that the Central Oklahoma Chapter of the American Institute of Architects takes a stance on saving a building.

But for the Stage Center at 400 W. Sheridan Ave. in downtown Oklahoma City, the chapter has voiced its opinion that it would like to keep the building intact.

"There just seems like something could be used for the building," said Melissa Hunt, the chapter's executive director. "We came out and really worked with the (Oklahoma City) Community Foundation because we had so many members that said, 'We can't let this building go.' We feel like it's pretty important."

According to the building's Realtor, Mark Beffort, keeping the building intact may be a possibility.

"We've had one group look at it that wants to reuse the facility, while others are looking at developing the site," said Mark Beffort with Grubb and Ellis.

He said he has shown the property to more than a dozen interested parties, and that number has been narrowed to between three and five.

"We do have an interested party that has indicated interest in keeping the existing structure," he said. "But they don't know if they would. We want what's in the interest of the city, but we're making sure whoever buys the site is able to execute their plan."

The buyer of the property could be named by the middle of April, Beffort said.

"We are not under contract with anyone yet," he said.

The purchaser of the property will be named based on three criteria: the price offered, the buyers' capability to execute their plan, and the ultimate use of the structure.

Stage Center is owned by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. There is no price on it.

Hunt said the purchaser will get a building that is in decent shape, considering the 2010 flood. However, the building does not have heat or air conditioning, which is an additional expense the new owner would have to resolve.

"The upper floors were not flooded," Hunt said. "It's been empty since 2010 and it's in remarkably good shape. Where it flooded in 2010 - all of that has been cleaned up."

At one time, the building was being considered for the National Register of Historic Places, but that proposal was put on hold when the Oklahoma City Community Foundation filed a formal objection to the listing.

Hunt said that despite the foundation's objection, the new owner could still put the building on the register if they desired.

The Stage Center, originally called Mummers Theater, is considered historic by architectural groups because it was designed by John M. Johansen in 1970. Johansen was a student of Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright. The building received the American Institute of Architects National Honor Award in 1972. That same year, it was placed in the permanent building model collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


Take Five: A Titan of Architectural Criticism has Died, but Architects are Best Prepared to Carry on the Conversation

By Robert Ivy, FAIA
AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer
Until January, if you asked any architectural writer to name the greatest living critic, the answer would inevitably be Ada Louise Huxtable, Hon. AIA. While there have been other renowned minds thinking and commenting on architecture and the built environment in the 20th century (Lewis Mumford springs to mind), no one came close to Huxtable.Writing as the architecture critic for The New York Times, and later for The Wall Street Journal, she balanced careful reporting with strong opinions, providing readers with the social, economic, and political context, as well as the effect a given project exerted on a neighborhood, street, and city. Her columns addressed the art of architecture, but rarely as a stand-alone topic.

Who can forget her realistic appraisal of the future for New York’s Ground Zero, warning us to temper optimism for that supercharged urban nexus, since, in Gotham, developers ultimately had the final say: “What Ground Zero tells us is that we have lost the faith and the nerve, the knowledge and the leadership, to make it happen now.” Many of us, filled with optimism for a fresh start, sometimes recoiled a notch at her pronouncements, or actively disagreed with her, but one fact was clear: Her opinion mattered.

We treasured her because she spoke the truth as she understood it, even when it hurt. And legions of citizens, eager for an educated perspective on buildings or neighborhoods or the city, shared in their appreciation of this refined voice. In a sense, she acted as a progenitor, arming subsequent generations of writers, such as Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA, (who succeeded her at the Times). But even more importantly, her role helped to set a standard in which informed writers act as the moderator of public discourse, helping us to frame the debate, much as other gifted critics for major news outlets do on their own geographic turf–Blair Kamin in Chicago, Chris Hawthorne in Los Angeles, Robert Campbell, FAIA, in Boston, and now Michael Kimmelman at The Times. We are all in her debt.

While Huxtable honed and valued her professional craft, the Internet has unleashed the genie from the bottle. Today, we don't have to wait for the authoritative article to see a project and form initial decisions. In a sense, all of us can carry on the conversation, because the times demand it. And who better to evaluate architecture, and its effects on the world around us, than architects?

In a way, all architects become critics, for good or ill, practicing their faculties first in the design studio on their own projects, then on those of their classmates and colleagues. The looming need for informed discussion transcends the superficial aesthetic aspects of a given building or community project. Think of Huxtable. Ada Louise would enjoin us to collect our facts, set the context, and look at the larger picture before taking aim. Then, and only then, are we prepared to advocate effectively and forcefully for the built environment–taking a balanced, if powerful position that our clients, or fellow citizens, will listen to, recall, and act on.

Some of us have lamented that, “The public doesn’t understand the value of design.” But it doesn't require a singular generational talent like Ada Louise Huxtable to teach people how architects make the communities we live and work in better places. This is a job for architects as well. No one knows the total story better–neither the client nor the public. You know your project’s intentions. If the building is a school, you know how it might enrich a student's learning experience; if it's a hospital, how it might help a patient heal.

We should use op-eds, letters, blogs, and all manner of social media outlets, adding the architect’s voice without waiting for someone else to frame the debate. In one sense, speaking out and speaking up about architecture in your own community becomes a form of advocacy, a positive action you can take to help advance the understanding and appreciation of your own work and of the profession. Then, when our motives and achievements are recognized by third parties, including great critics like Ada Louise Huxtable, the message will resound clearly and powerfully.

Speak up, speak out about architecture. The AIA of the 21st century needs architects (and critics) like you.

2013 Architecture Week To Be Held In April

February 6, 2013

Architecture Enthusiasts,

The American Institute of Architects Central Oklahoma Chapter (AIACOC) is proud to again bring Architecture Week to the public. Architecture Week celebrates architecture and design in Central Oklahoma. This year the events will run April 8th thru the 14th.

The events include the OKLAHOMANMADE Architectural Photography Competition, the AIACOC Honor Awards, the 12th Annual AIA Architecture Tour, KIDesign and the Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture's Poker Run.

On April 11, 2013 the OKLAHOMANMADE Architectural Photography Exhibit will be held. This is an event for future photographers, professional photographers, intern architects, architects, and the general public to show their images of Oklahoma built environment. The OKLAHOMANMADE Photographs will be on display and winners will be announced during this event. Come join us for OKLAHOMANMADE event on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Butzer Gardner Architects on Film Row from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

The 2013 AIACOC Honor Awards Luncheon will be held on April 12th. AIA will honor individuals and firms both within the profession and outside the profession who merit recognition for their accomplishments on behalf of the architectural profession. This event will take place at Will Rogers Theater from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

On Saturday April 13, 2013, AIACOC will host two events. One will be the Architecture Tour and the other will be KIDesign. The Architecture Tour is a tour of eight projects in the OKC metro that have been designed by architects. The 2012 Tour locations can be viewed at www.aiacoc.org/tour. Tickets for this year's tour will go on sale March 25th and will be $12 in advance or $15 the day of the tour.

AIACOC and the Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture invite kids 1st through 6th grade to participate in KIDesign. KIDesign is an event that helps our youth discover architecture in a hands on classroom approach.

Architecture Week will conclude on Sunday with the Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture's Poker Run. The poker run highlights significant structures around the Central Oklahoma area. This event will feature various architectural works that are historic and architecturally significant. There are five designated stops within a 150 mile radius. Attendees draw a poker card at each stop and the winning hand will be determined at the final stop. Motorcycles and cars are both welcome.

We appreciate all the support you have given Architecture Week in the past and we invite you to join us again this year to celebrate the importance of design in our community.

For more information on Architecture Week 2013, please visit www.aiacoc.org/architectureweek

Melissa Hunt, Executive Director

AIA Central Oklahoma




2013 Scholarship Application

The Oklahoma City Foundation for Architecture awards two scholarships annually - one each worth $1,000 to a professional degree-track student at The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.

1. Students must be enrolled and working toward an NAAB accredited BArch or MArch degree at OU or OSU.

2. Students must be enrolled in at least the third year of a BArch program.

2013 Scholarship Application


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