Norman Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Norman

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    Best Gothic in the Metropolitan Area

    by mrclay2000 Written Apr 8, 2003

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    McFarlin Memorial Methodist Church

    Dedicated in 1924, the McFarlin Memorial Methodist Church is the most handsome religious structure in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Built of Indiana limestone and financed by an oilman whose only real tie to Norman stems from the burial of his son here, this Gothic marvel surprisingly remains nowhere on the national register of historic sites. Just three blocks north of the University of Oklahoma campus and facing southward, perhaps the better to receive its original congregation, there is no more stately Gothic edifice within 100 miles.

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    Gothic Credentials

    by mrclay2000 Updated Apr 8, 2003

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    southern facade, 56-foot main window

    The Gothic belltower on the McFarlin Memorial Methodist Church rises 112 feet above the walk below, flanking a row of stained glass windows on the west side, and towering over the huge 56ft by 32ft main window. Farther east on the southern facade is a bay window, an expensive ornament not often found on 20th century American churches. If you look more closely, you can see that even the splay (the three-dimensional arch over the doorways) is ornamented.

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    Gothic Wonder

    by mrclay2000 Updated Apr 8, 2003

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    McFarlin Memorial Methodist Church, western side

    Though the front 56-foot window is complemented by four similar windows on the western side of the sanctuary (the original 1924 church before the additions), the interior view is one of simple glass segments that depict no allegory or religious passage. Sadly, the recent additions to the interior have almost blocked the entirety of the main window, leaving only the upper third. Note here the additional design over the northwest doorway, and the stately belltower that has no equal in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

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    House of Worship

    by mrclay2000 Written Apr 8, 2003

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    McFarlin Memorial Methodist Church, interior

    Like many houses of worship in the United States, the McFarlin Memorial Methodist Church loses some of its grandeur in a more functional, less ornate interior. Due to the rich endowment of $700,000 in 1924 that allowed the completion of this church, the interior can boast Bedford and Caen stone from France, and walnut and gum wood in the sanctuary auditorium.

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    Oklahoma's Best Museum for Natural History

    by mrclay2000 Written Apr 8, 2003

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    Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

    Once residing in poor quarters on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, the comprehensive collection of millions of artefacts and fossils from 300 million years of Oklahoma history now sits under the impressive 195,000 sq ft Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, which opened in the year 2000. Some of the galleries prohibit photography (due to copyrighted works), but others encourage the use of a camera (a tripod is admissible with special permission).

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    Bones

    by mrclay2000 Updated Apr 16, 2003

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    mastodons of different ages

    Much of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is devoted to early man and very early settlement of the area now called Oklahoma. For me these had less interest than the dozens of large skeletons and fossilized remains of dinosaurs over the whole range of history. For instance you can see the Ice Age Columbian Mammoth compared directly with its forebear from 30 million years ago.

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    Skulls

    by mrclay2000 Written Apr 16, 2003

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    Pentaceratops (largest dino skull ever found)

    For almost fifty years, some of the more important skeletal remains were kept in carts in hidden chambers and subterranean corridors at Owen Field, the University of Oklahoma's famous gridiron. Once the new facility was built, scholars realized they had (in the specimen of the Pentaceratops) the largest skull of a dinosaur ever found.

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    Jurassic Showdown

    by mrclay2000 Written Apr 16, 2003

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    saurophaganax approaching apatosaurus

    The main attraction in the dinosaur exhibit is the world's longest apatosaurus (93 feet long) as it attemps to defend itself against the meat-eating saurophaganax, whose slicing first digits are akin to those of the velociraptors of Jurassic Park.

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    Forgive the Mutant

    by mrclay2000 Written Aug 12, 2003

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    Bizzell Memorial Library

    Bizzell Memorial Library on the University of Oklahoma campus was started in 1929. Its standard Gothic facades feature memorial sculptures in the niches, handsome castle-like turrets and a host of gargoyles around the "keeps." For decades, this elegant building stood unopposed in architectural splendor at the center of campus. . .until the 1980s. Recognizing the need for growing space (something all campuses face), the regents allowed construction of a new wing that fused an orange-brick modern addition onto the stately Gothic of the past, thank goodness still preserving the excellence of the old.

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    Fred Jones Art Museum

    by mrclay2000 Written Dec 28, 2004
    Fred Jones Jr Art Museum on campus

    Presently the Fred Jones Museum houses several works of art from various disciplines. There are modern sculptures and paintings, and centuries old mosaics from Turkey and Greece within its interior. Once chosen to show the recent $50 million acquisition of impressionist works (the Weitzenhoffer collection), those works are presently in storage waiting on construction of a new facility. Even so the museum has considerable offerings and it's free to the public. No photos allowed inside.

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  • University of Oklahoma

    by AstroZombie Written Mar 6, 2005
    Indian Offering Peace Pipe

    I recommend spring or fall if you want to stroll around the campus. Fall you might be overwhelmed on Saturdays by the football crowd. Both seasons have beautiful flowers.

    Here is one of our statues with wildflowers in the early summer.

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  • Football Games

    by AstroZombie Written Mar 6, 2005
    The RufNeks run out on the field with the Schooner

    Unless you happen to inherit tickets, you might have a hard time getting in. But it's worth it as the team has recently been pretty awesome.... until the end. But all the home games are good. And as a warning, no umbrellas or personal bottles of water are allowed. It's possible to sneak water in, but do so at your own risk. The security guards are pretty focused.

    For those who have never been to an OU game: Yes, those guys have rifles. But they're not real, sort of. And I'm not quite clear what "boomer sooner" means either. Just play along.

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    Coming to Town

    by mrclay2000 Written Jun 1, 2003
    Norman Depot

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Norman Depot is an integral factor in Norman's existence. Built in 1909 (two years after statehood), the station has seen continuous passenger service until 1979, and then again in the 1990s when passenger service resumed. In 1884, President Chester A. Arthur authorized a railroad through the then-Indian Territory (surveyed by Abner E. Norman in the early 1870s, the man who gave Norman its name). In 1887, Norman's first boxcar rumbled along the new tracks near the very place where Norman was born.

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    Oldest Date on the Street

    by mrclay2000 Updated Jun 5, 2003
    Eye Care Oklahoma (in an 1894 building)

    This inocuous-looking Eyecare Center (south of the First Fidelity Bank on Main) bears the oldest dated entablature on the street - 1894. Some blocks to the east, the facades bear dates in the teens and twenties of the 20th century, but fail to preserve the charm and distinction of their earlier originals.

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    Aspiring Neighbors

    by mrclay2000 Written Jun 5, 2003
    First Christian Church

    After seeing the Gothic tower of the McFarlin Memorial Methodist Church on University, you'll probably not notice the other noble houses of worship that overwhelm the same block just north of McFarlin. The First Christian Church has a strong, imposing facade and is worthy of notice, but being built of tan brick leaves something of the intended holiness out of the architecture.

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Norman Things to Do

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