Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Doors Part 2

The Story: Back in the late 60’s/early 70’s there was this thing called Urban Renewal. Downtown Tulsa, in particular the area between Main and Cincinnati and 1st and 2nd streets did not look like it does today before this time. The Williams Tower did not exist and this was the original heart of Tulsa, where it all began.

(photos below courtesy of the Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society)

This is 2nd and Main, around 1908. You can see the buzz of activity and commerce here (click on photo to enlarge):

Here is 2nd and Main circa 1957:

Urban Renewal means: tear down existing buildings and build something new in its place. It can be extremely controversial, and has often involved the destruction of businesses, the demolition of priceless historic structures, the relocation of people, and the use of eminent domain as a legal instrument to reclaim private property for city-initiated development projects. But to have something destroyed, something wonderful and fabulous like the Ritz Theatre, for a parking lot...???? Oy. OK OK Don't get me started. Back to the story...

The original owner of these donated doors owned quite a few of these properties downtown and had asked to be notified when D-Day was near. He then proceeded to go and get the doors. From my research, I believe he also acquired doors from other spots around town, not just in this particular area. The donor said that one of these doors was from the old Grand Opera House. He also had a very pretty, old key that said it was to the Lyric Theatre. Great! So, which doors went where?? That was my challenge.

The rest of the doors:

I'll be taking a closer look at some of these doors for clues. Til next time!

1 comment:

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Since I have been cheating by going backward through your posts I have to say that I'm very impressed with the tenacity of your research.