Oklahoma's first celebration of modern architecture and design will be held May 20-22, 2015.
The event will be hosted by the Okie Mod Squad, an Oklahoma City-based group that promotes the appreciation and preservation of Mid-Century Modern design. To drive home that point they have chosen a uniquely identifiable site to host this first-ever event: The First Christian Church of Oklahoma City.
Last week I got to spend a day with some of the Oklahoma Mod Squad crew. The occasion was National Architecture Week and the Central AIA Chapter was sponsoring a tour of seven projects in the Oklahoma City area.
I had a great time and saw some inspired commercial spaces, unique homes and promising projects. Everyone agreed and we're looking forward to more pan-turnpike modernism projects in the future!
About the only thing that happens in Vegas faster than new construction is the erasing of history. In a city where a five year-old building is considered tired, it's no surprise that history passes through the bulldozer's bucket faster than a free buffet line.
When visiting Las Vegas I usually find myself visiting the seedier parts of town looking for what made Sin City click in the Fifties and Sixties. This time around I actually wanted to visit something new. Yes, a modernist enclave on the main drag for a change!
One of the most interesting new sites on the Strip is called City Center. Ironically, this new Geary-induced development is soon to be visited by wrecking crews!
In a bizarre "only in Vegas" turn of events the Harmon Hotel is going to be razed before it ever opened its doors. The 26-story hotel has been deemed defective and the owners have requested a permit to demolish it. How they managed to continue building something so large when they knew …
Oklahoma Modern reader JS from Dallas writes: Hi Rex and Jackie- I’m an Okie from Shawnee and I enjoy your Oklahoma Modern blog. I’m taking a photo trip/family visit to Tulsa in mid-April and want to check with you about what’s still around for me to enjoy. Here’s a tentative list:
One of our favorite events isn't in Oklahoma, but it is modern.
The White Rock Home Tour is an annual tour showcasing some of Dallas' nicest Mid-Century Modern homes. This area is northeast of downtown Dallas, near White Rock Lake, and features ranch-style and minimalist homes from the Fifties and Sixties.
Each year the tour highlights 5 or 6 homes, some vintage and some new construction. The weekend also features architectural lectures and exhibits. Proceeds from the event benefit Hexter Elementary, a nearby public school. For 2012 the tour will be held April 21st and 22nd.
So mark your calendars, Okies! We'll round up the wagons and make ourselves a convoy. Breaker, breaker. Headin' down to Big D. 10-4.
We had been hearing about the unique hideaway called the Canebrake for years. I decided Jackie's birthday would be the perfect occasion to get out of town to sample their gourmet menu and spend the night in a cabin in the woods.
The Canebrake is located just east of Wagoner, OK on a peninsula overlooking Fort Gibson Lake. It's miles away from the city lights so it's a great place to "get away from it all."
Bruce Goff is known for his unusual architecture. So our visit to the home he designed for the Cox family in 1949 was a bit of a surprise.
From the street it's easily the most "usual" home by Bruce Goff we have ever seen. It even has vertical walls, brick veneer and square corners. There are no spheres or conversation pits or Klingon-inspired roof escarpments. It would be easy to overlook the Cox House. Odds are you'd miss it- even if someone told you to keep an eye out for a Bruce Goff house in Boise City.
Weary travelers making a pit stop on the Muskogee Turnpike may think they've stumbled into a W Hotel. Alas, it's only a McDonalds.
As a child these travel plazas held a science fiction-like fascination. Gaudy signs and futuristic architecture invited you into a world of tomorrow. The best part of any road trip was the rest stop. Like an oasis on the endless ribbon of concrete, the travel plaza provided a much needed break from the monotony of transcontinental travel by car.
The new 15,000 square foot travel plaza, located in Wagoner County, replaced the existing convenience store and Mickey D from the Seventies. Both businesses are now located in one building which opened in April 2011. The decor is open and contemporary, what I'd describe as West Elm-ish. We especially liked the bright red Emeco 111 Navy chairs molded from recycled Coke bottles. Even the toilets are hip, featuring sleek waterless urinals and Dyson Airblade hand dryers.
We crossed the Oklahoma Panhandle on a recent trip to Black Mesa for a hike up to Oklahoma's highest point (but that's another story). I had read about the two private residences in Beaver, Oklahoma designed by Bruce Goff, so we decided to make a detour. We discovered a great little town and a number of interesting buildings!
Things you probably didn't know about Beaver, Oklahoma: Two homes in Beaver were designed by Bruce Goff (okay, that doesn't count) Hosts the World Cow Chip Throwing Championship Beaver Dunes State Park is nearby and actually has sand dunesThey still have an operating OTASCO*
Anyone who questions the validity of architecture as a tourism generator in Oklahoma got a firm rebuke last week. The unique skyscraper in Bartlesville known as the Price Tower was included on a list of Frank Lloyd Wright structures nominated for international recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (mercifully known as UNESCO). Just the nomination is a huge honor, and recognition as a World Heritage Site would mean a huge boost in international visitors to the Price Tower. The 19-story skyscraper currently houses an art center, boutique hotel and a struggling restaurant.
We'd been hearing about this desert city full of Mid-Century Modern architecture for years. But it's difficult to comprehend until you actually experience that cool-building-on-every-corner aspect of Palm Springs, California. The celebrities who frequented this city in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties built cutting-edge homes to use as their Winter retreats. Today this city of approximately 45,000 is awash in well preserved examples of Streamline Moderne, International, Brutalist and Postmodern architecture.
And fortunately for us the civic leaders appear to understand the power of architecture as a tourist attraction. Preservation has saved many important buildings, and many commercial structures are protected from any visual alterations or possible "remuddle" jobs. New construction also leverages the modern look by incorporating classic Fifties styling cues like a butterfly roof or aluminum brise-soleil.
For the last couple of years we've been hearing more and more about Modernism Week in Palm Springs. Held each February since 2006, this week-long celebration of modern aesthetics has become the place to be for stir-crazy modernists.
Sixth Annual Palm Springs Modernism Week February 17 through 27, 2011
Today Palm Springs, California is a mecca of Mid-Century Modern architecture. In the postwar years this desert oasis attracted the Hollywood elite and became symbolic of the Rat Pack lifestyle. The annual Modernism Week celebrates this unique "desert modern" with art exhibits, architectural tours, lectures, and sales. What began as just a show and sale back in 2001 has evolved into a huge citywide happening that attracted over 9,000 visitors last year.
Aloft Tulsa Delivers Style at a Steal to Savvy Travelers
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), today announces the debut of its Aloft brand in Oklahoma with the opening of Aloft Tulsa. Owned by Anish Hotels Group and managed by LodgeWorks, L.P., this brand-new destination sensation features 136 spacious, open rooms, a tech-forward sensibility and a vibrant, social atmosphere.
Aloft Tulsa is ideally located in south Tulsa, home to the city's best shops, restaurants, entertainment and commerce. The stylish, new hotel is just a few blocks from the 71st Street shopping and dining district, Woodland Hills Mall, historic downtown Tulsa, Oral Roberts University and the concerts and sporting events at BOK Center. Also nearby are Hard Rock Casino, River Spirit Casino and Tulsa's scenic RiverWalk. Offering more than 1,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space, Aloft Tulsa is convenient to the offices of Cox Communications, Metlife Insura…
A couple of months ago we shared a news release from Motel 6 about their new prototype room designs. This new modern look was being applied to rooms in new construction as well as Motel 6 makeovers. This also coincides with the company's green initiative. In October 2009 the first LEED-certified economy hotel in the US opened in Nortlake, Texas.
The project is code named "Phoenix" and includes sustainable features like the use of technologically-advanced heating and cooling systems, native landscaping with drought-resistant plants, thermal solar water heating, flooring made from 80% post-consumer recycled material and a Fluorescent Light Bulb and Battery Recycling Program.
Accor North America, the parent company of Motel 6, says...
Since its introduction in March 2008, the award-winning Motel 6 “Phoenix” room design has been incorporated into more than 70 of Motel 6’s existing corporate-owned and franchised locations in more than 20 U.S. markets. Guestroom features inc…
Oklahoma's "official" online persona is pretty dry. Our state's home page could best be described as Welcome to Nineties. Which is an improvement over the previous version, that looked like something created using Windows 3.11.
But our tourism and recreation office has been a refreshing exception to that trend. A recent overhaul of TravelOK.com offers would-be visitors videos, blogs and articles about a variety of unique destinations that await them in the Sooner State. Yes, even Mid-Century Modern.