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Raw Deal at Classen Curve

Nice Examples of Design Spotted Everywhere... even on our plates!
A few weeks ago we made the short trek up the turnpike to Oklahoma City and had lunch at a unique restaurant, while enjoying some modern architecture. The two come together at a new retail development called Classen Curve. And our meal was a treat for the eyes and the tummy!

Patio in the Classen CurveThe Curve project is near the intersection of Classen Boulevard and I-44, on NW Grand. It's another product of Chesapeake Energy and designed by their favorite firm, Elliott + Associates Architects. If you've ever visited Pops in Arcadia, the Chesapeake Boathouse or the Route 66 Museum in Clinton you've seen their work before. Clean lines and simple geometry typify their work, and Classen Curve is no exception.

The only establishment up and running in Classen Curve at the time of our visit was 105 Degrees. This is a raw food restaurant that also features a small market and chef school. A surprising array of entrees and desserts are available, frankly much more than I was expecting. The 105 Degrees Academy offers classes and chef certification in preparing food below the school's namesake temperature.The interior of the whole establishment is focused on renewable and eco-friendly materials.

Our lunch was quite good. Jackie was reveling in an entire menu of vegan choices. We both thoroughly enjoyed the Heirloom Tomato Lasagna- which featured a raw version of pasta that uses a drying technique instead of baking. If that sounds unappealing, trust me- it's actually quite delicious. And I highly recommend the Frozen Blood Orange Cheescake.

Afterward we walked off a few of the calories touring the Classen Curve. The storefronts were mostly empty, but overall there's an open feel to the entire space. Overhangs are open and windows are extra large. The center will eventually offer 92,000 square feet of retail space in a park-like setting. Storefronts face inward, toward the people using the center, instead of the passing traffic. Landscaping was still being completed but appeared to be an integrated component as opposed to an afterthought satisfying some arcane zoning requirement.

I'm looking forward to seeing the development once completed. And another tasty lunch!


The Recent Past

The Bruce Goff House in Vinita

We were recently surprised to learn about a Goff-designed home just an hour away from Tulsa in Vinita, Oklahoma. Vinita is probably best known to OK Mod readers as the home of the Glass House on I-44, also known as (shudder) the World's Largest Largest McDonalds . Anywho, turned out the Goff house was on the market, and the owner was more than happy to let us have a look around. We took a short drive up the turnpike one Sunday afternoon to meet the realtor, snap some pictures, ask some questions and enjoy another one of Bruce Goff's unique creations. The home is known as the Adams House and was built in 1961. The 3,700 square foot home is arranged in a circular floor plan with a large sunken "conversation pit" at the center. Rising up from this pit is a large metal fireplace, its chimney surrounded by skylights, which dominates the entire house. Rooms surround the perimeter with folding accordion doors acting as walls. To maintain some semblance of privacy an inner

The World Museum

The widening of I-44 through Tulsa will soon claim another mid-century building (see Modern Homes Make Way for I-44 ). This unusual landmark near Peoria, once known as the World Museum, is being emptied in preparation for demolition. The concrete complex was built in 1963 by the Osborn Ministries as a museum and "Interstate Temple." Self-proclaimed minister, T. L. Osborn, and his wife, Daisy, traveled the world as Christian missionaries and collected art and artifacts on their journeys. The unusual La Concha-esque building housed their partial collection and distracted motorists touring along the new Skelly Bypass (aka I-44). The exterior of the building is adorned with maps of the world's continents. In its heyday there was a good deal more- a giant outline of Jesus was on one wall. The inscription below it, "REX," provided one of my earliest Latin lessons when I asked Dad why that building had my name on it. There was also a large globe that once stood out fr

Oklahoma State Capitol Bank

On the Trail of Julius Shulman: Stop 2 "This is a bank," the sign outside the futuristic building read. According to legend a prankster added a strategic question mark and echoed the sentiment of many passers-by: "This is a bank?" That was back in 1964 when it opened. Today the Arvest on Lincoln Boulevard looks a bit less Jetsonian, mostly due to replacement of structural glass below the "saucers," but it's still an unusual bank. Designed by Robert Roloff of the architectural firm Bailey, Bozalis, Dickinson & Roloff, the State Capitol Bank caused quite a stir in Oklahoma City when it opened. Heck, it's still pretty shocking today! Originally the flying saucers appeared to hover above the building (as seen in this vintage postcard). All the glass that made that effect possible also made heating and cooling an expensive proposition. Security concerns also mandated replacement of those windows with solid materials and small square portholes