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This is a collection of photos I've shot of my hometown, Oklahoma City. Most of the images presently in the gallery were shot with my Minolta X-700 35mm SLR.

 

Downtown

A visitor to OKC once remarked to me that he had just arrived here and was trying to find the
suburbs, but, as he put it, "it's ALL suburbs!" This isn't far from the truth, either. Oklahoma City
is a young city, with a unique heritage and pattern of growth unseen anywhere else. It was settled
literally overnight, as the result of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889, which opened Central
Oklahoma to settlement for the first time. On the morning of April 22, 1889, Oklahoma City was
nothing but a vast open prairie. By nightfall of that same day, it was a tent city of 10,000
inhabitants who had come from all over the world to lay claim to free land. Today, Oklahoma City
is a city of over 600 square miles in area (larger than Los Angeles and New York combined), with a
population of nearly 1 million people.

The development of the city's downtown area spanned only 60 years or so before retail businesses
began relocating to the rapidly expanding suburbs of the 1950s. By the 60s, downtown was derelict.
Still a center of big business, it's lack of retail shopping and desirable housing made it a virtual
ghost town after hours and on weekends. In the 1970s, attempts were first made toward urban
renewal, and by the late 80s, some degree of revitalization had occurred. Still, in these photos I
shot, usually on weekends, you'll notice that the area is not heavily trafficed. The Bricktown
historical area, to the East of downtown, is where the revitalization has centered, consisting mostly
of restaurants and clubs. A new revitalization project, MAPS, has been underway for about four
years, now. It consists of a new baseball stadium for our minor league team, formerly known as
the 89ers, now called the Redhawks; a canal, much like that found in San Antonio; and an expansion of the Myriad Convention Center.

 

 

In 1978, I photographed what was then my
favorite downtown building, the ill-fated Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. This view is of the
South side of the building. The bomb blast that killed 168 people on April 19, 1995 occurred on
the North side of the building. The terraced area in the foreground is all that remains, at present,
since the building was demolished in 1995. The site of the building will become a national
monument by the year 2000.

 

Kerr-McGee Park, one block South of Kerr-McGee Plaza, the world headquarters of Kerr-McGee Corporation, one of the world's largest oil producers. The founder of K-M, the late Robert S. Kerr, was once a senator from Oklahoma.

 

 

 

Leadership Square, in the heart of the business district. Just beyond, to the extreme right of the picture, is the Bank of Oklahoma building. The red object just below and to the left of this is a large sculpture by Alexander Leiberman, noted sculptor and
publisher of Conde Nast.

A view of the courtyard

just outside of

Kerr-McGee Plaza

 

 

 Myriad Gardens, a large park on the Southern edge of downtown. To the left is the Botanical Tube, a multilevel greenhouse environment that houses hundreds of species of tropical plants. It is suspended above a large reflecting pool. On the opposite side of the tube is an outdoor ampitheater with a stage that juts out into the pool. During the spring and fall, Myriad Gardens is the site of Oklahoma City's Festival of the Arts, which draws visitors from all over the country.

 

GSR Gallery

Bio Page

NW Oklahoma City

Gary's Selfportrait Gallery

Gary's Terragen Gallery

Mystery Writers Web Project

Rea Genealogy

 

The Amateur Photography Ring
This site is owned by: Gary Rea

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