Monday, December 24, 2007

Oklahoma's Bank of the Future

Several years ago I came across an auction on eBay for a postcard titled "Oklahoma Bank of the Future" listing this card:
Vintage postcard of futuristic bank in Oklahoma City
My immediate reaction was, Zowee!

The Bank of the Future as it looks today.I assumed this was an artist's rendition of a bank that never was. Then I learned it was. And better yet, it still is! This past February we loaded up the Volvo and headed down the turnpike.

Today it's an Arvest Bank and you'll find it in Oklahoma City just north of the capitol complex on Lincoln. The building has experienced some blandishment through the years, but it's still definitely futuristic.

The layout of the structure is a diamond shape– but you'd never know it from the outside. The drive-thru has been extensively modified from the original vision of the future. Originally the tellers each had their own little "pod" to work from, this was a trend at early autobanks, but now they are seated together in the main building.

Jackie takes a relaxing elevator ride.The overall condition of the building is excellent. I have to admit I was expecting some crumbling concrete and exposed rebar rusting in the sunlight. It's actually in very good condition inside and out (we couldn't "officially" snap photos inside because the place is still a bank).

One feature that has not been altered is a novel circular elevator taht measures about 15 feet in diameter. It's like a lounge and elevator all rolled into one! The best part is it's still functional– notice how Jackie is lounging in circular comfort as she descends several feet!

Even the vent chimmney gets the futuristic treatment.Downstairs is the vault, safe deposit boxes and meeting rooms. A hallway on the drive-thru end appears to be (and I am guessing here) the original access route to the teller stations. I wonder if the original job application asked about claustrophobia?

All in all a true delight, and well worth the detour.
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Postscript.