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New parking garage seen as work of art

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The celebration of downtown’s new 802-space parking garage demonstrates that pragmatic projects, while not as sexy as skyscrapers and streetcars, have an important place in the function of a city.

The new garage also demonstrates the importance of design, especially in Oklahoma City’s growing core.

“We continually raise the standards for what we do,” said Mayor Mick Cornett at the grand opening of the Arts District Garage located south of city hall between Hudson and Main. “We are raising the standards of the projects where the city is involved.”

The new Arts District Garage will add 802 parking spaces to downtown Oklahoma City. - BEN FELDER
  • Ben Felder
  • The new Arts District Garage will add 802 parking spaces to downtown Oklahoma City.

The 10-story garage is lined with vertical glass panels drawing inspiration from the Federalist Deco style of the 1930’s, said architect Anthony McDermid.

“We are going to find that every single day when you get a chance to see it it means something different to us,” Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer said about the structure’s glass panels, talking about it as a piece of art.

The first floor of the facility includes 18,500 square feet of retail space where a medical clinic for city employees and a coffee shop are already planned. Built at a cost of $24.5 million, the Arts District Garage will be managed by the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority and is the first new building for the department in 20 years.

“Our goal was to have a garage that blended parking with office and retail in a highly pedestrian environment and also complemented the current architecture in the area,” COPTA director Jason Ferbrache said.

 

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