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Midtown Garage - A Design Refresher

Architectural accents are being installed this week on the new Midtown Garage being built on NW 10 between Robinson Avenue and Broadway.

With all the development taking place downtown, this project has not attracted a lot of attention. But this is another project by architect Bryan Fitzsimmons, who is really doing some wonderful work throughout town. What follows are some renderings of what the garage will look when completed, and some comments by the development/design team about how the project was designed:

  • A great example of a modern insertion into historic surroundings.


  • The design elements are interpretations of surrounding buildings and history’s honest use of materials


  • The louvered panels recall historic casement windows present in the adjacent 1101 Broadway Building.


  • The louvered panels recall historic automobile windshields of Automobile Alley’s heyday..


  • Exposing the concrete structure expresses the traditional, historic exposed concrete framework with infill panels as executed in the 1101 Broadway building.


  • The south and west curtain wall directly responds to the scale of neighboring buildings with the top of the curtain wall aligning with the 1101 Broadway parapet on the East and steps down on the west to align with the office building to the west.


  • Masonry planters along 10th Street shield the ground level automobiles and soften the pedestrian experience.  The masonry is a direct connection to the brick buildings of Automobile Alley Brick and is a similar brick used on the 1101 Broadway building to the east
  • The parking structure highlights the history and spirit of Automobile Alley.


  • Connection to the forward and modern thinking of the automobile.


  • It is an honest car building, allowing people to visit the buildings and business it serves along Automobile Alley.


  • The design is honest of today within the context of historic buildings.


  • Materials are compatible with surrounding buildings.


  • Scale is comfortable in relation to other Automobile Alley structures.


  • The curtain wall and panels are intricate in scale to create a texture rather than a dominating geometry, and therefore breaks down the large scale of the garage.


  • Pattern and texture respond to that natural patterns of street trees, further enhanced with landscape atop walls and in the alley courtyard .


  • A sense of place is created in the alley between the Garage and 1101 Building – it is converted into a pedestrian plaza with landscape and Art. The historic Spires of the Baum building are to be placed within the courtyard and near 10th Street.


  • There should be an abstract connection in the spirit of Automobile Alley with consideration to brick, car buildings and scale.


  • Honest to today and a building for cars and is honest to that, with, not create a false history.


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Steve Lackmeyer

Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's... Read more ›