Artisans Art of Architecture Bike Tour
September 22, 2017
This past weekend Arts Council Oklahoma City’s young professional group, the Artisans, held a new type of event being done around the metro, The Art of Architecture Bike Tour. The event was led by local architect and Artisan member, Ryan Fogle, and was sponsored by Spokies Bike Share.
As the group gathered at the Downtown Library, one of 8 kiosk locations where you can rent your own Spokies bike, they donned their helmets and began a tour of several stops which explained how Oklahoma’s history, environment and hope for the future, was inspiration for the architects’ approach to these spaces. At their first stop, the Oklahoma County Courthouse, Fogle talked about the window details, which were designed to be reminiscent of wheat, one of the state’s largest cash crops at the time the building was designed.
At the next stop, between the Civic Center and Bicentennial Park, Fogle, along with Peter Dolese, Executive Director for Arts Council Oklahoma City, discussed how the redesign of Bicentennial park was controversial due to the clearing of resident trees and monuments. Thanks to that innovation, however, today it is used for some of the cities greatest events, including Art Council Oklahoma City’s own Opening Night and Festival of the Arts. The group then moved through what has been dubbed by the locals as SOSA (South of Saint Anthony) to view specific elements of the modern homes situated on their little hill just east of Classen. A quick ride further north took the group to the Midtown Plaza Court building, where the Artisans learned this was Oklahoma City’s first shopping center which, had a then-unheard of unheard of 150 parking spaces.
The tour continued to a stop at the new Federal Building, the first Federal Building designed by a woman, before heading over to the SandRidge Energy Center, to learn about the Commons’ verdant landscapes and central shade structure; an outdoor area which, if not for the consideration of Oklahoma’s environment during the design of the space, would have been, more-or-less, terribly hot wind tunnel. The canopy and landscape installed there provides shade and wind disbursement, giving way to a great place to enjoy a downtown lunch break or an evening music jam session.
The tour ended at the Myriad Gardens on the Grand Lawn where Fogle spoke about the Colcord Hotel being the first skyscraper in Oklahoma City, almost exactly 100 years prior to the erection of our now tallest skyscraper, the Devon Tower. The Colcord Hotel also is known for being the first steel-reinforced concrete building in Oklahoma City.
At the conclusion of the tour the Artisans made their way to Fassler Hall to enjoy the view of Oklahoma City’s skyline while enjoying the food and drink provided by Arts Council Oklahoma City.
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