Bricktown developer Doc Blue dead at 88
Bricktown has lost another one of its colorful pioneering developers with the passing of French “Doc Blue” Hickman.
Hickman was 88 when he passed away Dec. 12. Raised on a ranch in Minco in a house with no indoor bathrooms, and educated in a one-room schoolhouse, Hickman went on to become an orthodontist in Midwest City and eventually opened two more offices in Oklahoma City and Shawnee.
While serving on the Council for Dental Care of the American Dental Association during the late 1980s, Hickman often visited Chicago where he fell in love with Chicago-style blues and playing the harmonica.
Doc Blue, adorned with black sunglasses with a black fedora hat, was born. Hickman started his own band back home, the “Doc Blues Revue,” and then opened his own blues club, “MoJo’s,” at French Market Mall.
The club moved to 1 E California Ave. in Bricktown as French Market Mall was turned into big box retail. The blues club remains in operation on what is now the Bricktown Canal.
Hickman bought the building and three more along what would later become the Bricktown Canal. He also was among the first to invest in historic restorations of the buildings along the canal.
The former Oklahoma Hardware Building, 25 S Oklahoma Ave., was converted into a mix of offices, restaurants and shops and was later sold to the University of Central Oklahoma where it opened the Academy for Contemporary Music.
He went with a similar approach with the Kingman Building, 100 E California Ave., but kept a floor for himself. With the help of architect Rand Elliott the floor was turned into a decidedly blue residence.
A viewing will be at Smith & Kernke, 14624 N May Ave., with family present from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday. A celebration of life service will be at Smith & Kernke at 10 a.m. Saturday with interment following in Minco. An open jam session and celebration in honor of Doc Blue will be held Saturday evening at Mojo's Blues Club.