Standing a little away from what has become known as Church Row, the First Unitarian Church has one of the grander spires in Oklahoma City, second only to St Joseph's downtown. This white projection and red-brick building occupy a corner of the downtown area almost by their lonesome, so the grand spire seems even grander when the church itself commands an area that offers no serious rival. The church was finished in the late 1920s and its spire and entablature rest on strong white columns, a common design for many churches, but relatively scarce in Oklahoma City.
Do yourself a favor when you are traveling in Oklahoma. Get off the main highway. Take different routes, you will be glad you did. Since I traveled the area from Oklahoma City to as far south as Ardmore to as far north as Woodward often, I found myself finding alternate was of getting to my place of destination. Also, there was not one trip that I had to find alternate was to get around because there was always an accident on I-35. It never failed and once I-35 is backed up, your delay can be for hours.
So, my advise to you is, get a map of Oklahoma. There are tons of parks, historic sites and you just never know what you might find. The state is very easy to get around in. I can find my way better in Oklahoma then I can in Missouri. HA!
The Eastside district is home to the African American community and is experiencing a renaissance of its own. Once a perfect example of urban blight and stereotypical undersight, the Eastside now boasts numerous development and an African American museum is currently in the works.
It used to be, that this area would be better suited for the "Danger/Warning" category but there has been substantial investment into district including the much anticipated N.E. 23rd Streetscape [as it is the principle roadway of the district and gateway to the State Capitol].
Be sure to visit Leo's BBQ, if you're into some good, slow, "smoke-style" home cookin'. The restaurant is located at 3631 N. Kelly Ave and they are tourist friendly, as they accept major credit cards. Just follow your nose.
Hey!! Guess who I got to meet over the Thanksgiving holiday? (2001)
brdwtchr - Steve and Becky!
We had lunch! Good food and great people, I hope we can get together again sometime! We were so full in this picture! It was taken outside of Shorty Small's. . Don't laugh too hard!
This nice park with waterfall provides an interesting change in otherwise boring drive on I-35 from Oklahoma City to Dallas or serves as a nice day trip from OKC or other central Oklahoma cities.
Dive in the water for a relief from summer heat or just enjoy scenery from US 77 that winds up the hill and provides nice view down on the waterfall.
Directions: exit 51 or 47 on I-35
About thirty minutes from the heart of downtown lies one of the state's great unknown wonders in the heart of downtown Edmond to the north. This is the first building constructed in Oklahoma Territory for the purposes of higher education. Known then as the Territorial Normal School, its classes first assembled in a nearby Methodist church before this building rose on its present site in January 1893. This National Historic Site remains Edmond's most impressive historic building, and sitting as it does on the edge of campus, it still serves higher education by quartering the administration for the University of Central Oklahoma.
A little south of the downtown area lies one of the more concentrated Hispanic areas of Oklahoma City, and within this particular enclave rises an odd church tower. Though the Little Flower Catholic Church itself is no great marvel, having plain windows and a rectangular and plain sanctuary, its Romanesque tower in the center is unique among Oklahoma City churches. Due to the fact that little in the neighborhood is worth noting for the passing traveler, the picturesque tower becomes even more conspicuous.
Some twenty-five blocks north of downtown and two or three miles westward, there stand on Classen Boulevard some beautiful churches, such as the Wesley United Methodist Church. Built in 1927 in pure English Gothic, this church once stood proudly and almost alone on one of our classier thoroughfares. Now crowded around by Vietnamese businesses and a little urban decay, the red-brick exterior is still imposing, and its high gable, wide transepts and long nave still make this church one of the most attractive throughout the city.
This golden domed building has stood in this location for decades. Considered ultra-modern at the time, it is now the subject of controversy, since locals and others familiar with the structure wish to preserve it as a historic landmark, while developers want to tear it down and put up something new. To my mind, the building is a modern eyesore, worthy of historical status due to its age in the same vein as the nearby pavements or telephone poles (which could easily claim the same seniority). Whichever side ultimately wins this battle, this controversial dome lies in the same visual sphere as the two churches listed on the last tips.
This interesting little outlet has been an Oklahoma City fixture since the 1930s. Variously owned by the many dairies that operate here, the outlet is now known as the Saigon Baguette, lying in the heart of the Vietnamese community in town. Though you might get your handful of snacks inside or just a milk or soda, the milk bottle above once drew customers daily from blocks away at a time when "refrigeration" meant communion with a block of ice. Family legend holds that the milk bottle and outlet (sitting in the median of Classen Boulevard) was the brainchild of my paternal grandfather, who also painted the first dairy name on its exterior.
Just a block east of Wesley United Methodist is another of our grandest church exteriors, in the graystone Gothic First Presbyterian Church. Likewise builts in the late 1920s, this church and its red-brick contemporary once dominated the local view until this area developed its prestigious clientele. Today it is probably the most distinguished church design throughout the metropolitan area, with the Himalayan exception of the McFarlin Methodist in Norman. The long nave, the Gothic fleche, and the high pointed stained-glass windows are among the most attractive in town.
The best measures of a church's beauty are normally found in the interior, and Wesley United Methodist Church is no exception. Its own literature boasts how its pure English Gothic design continues the tradition from the Middle Ages of giving voice to its faith, and further how the "color selection, stained-glass windows, pulpit furniture, kneeling cushions, beamwork, appointments and wood carvings" retells the fundamentals of our faith. This is no idle boast! The interior will testify to the truth, that this is one of the most intricately designed and detailed sanctuaries in Oklahoma.
Most locals don't know about this either... At the SouthEast corner of Robinson and Couch street is a 32 story building. (1960's era) There is an Interurban restaurant on the ground floor.
Anyway, if you sneak in and go to the top floor, you can slide down the spiral slide located in one of the elevator shafts!! The purpose of the slide is for emergency escape, but it's great fun!! It get's quite dusty at the bottom. The 'ride' ends when you kick through some double doors and land in the center of the elevator lobby on the ground floor.
Be prepared to run from the security guard.
Just thirty minutes north of Oklahoma City is the national landmark called Guthrie, Oklahoma, a distinction enjoyed by precious few places (i.e. the Brooklyn Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the US Capitol). Today's Guthrie contains an enormous number of late 19th and early 20th century buildings in its historic center, where one can easily remove the streetlights and pavement in his imagination, and instead picture in his mind the very essence of the Old West.
Several large paintings in the upper galleries depict Oklahoma statesmen and personalities, including Will Rogers, Jim Thorpe and Sequoyah, the Cherokee syllabrist. Higher still on the walls are even larger murals depicting 450 years of Oklahoma History, starting from the time when Coronado first stepped first in what would become "Oklahoma," a Choctaw word meaning "land of the red man." Though our Spanish heritage has much dissipated, Spain was the first European power to mingle with the Native Americans here.