After months of speculation, wrestling between owners and pending owners.. and the very real possibility that the Geodesic Dome might be demolished.. an announcement presented within OKC this past week that work would begin finally be permitted... Sunday at least 3 workers were spotted atop the Geodesic Gold Dome on Old Route 66 in Oklahoma City.
Formerly the Jefferson Elementary School, the Citizen's National Bank Geodesic Gold Dome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Dome was one of the first five structures of it's kind in the United States.
Demolition allegations swirled
and were finally defeated
The Geodesic Gold Dome is tucked in on Old Route 66, along with the Giant Milk Bottle, and just up the road from the Tower Theatre, the Geodesic Gold Dome was another wonder for locals and cross country travelers when it was built in the late 1950's in Oklahoma City. http://www.examiner.com/article/oklahoma-city-red-dirt-red-hot-spots-on-...
Many drafts of area businesses had that idyllic look of a clear blue sky and clean, modern lines. Here is a copy of a set of postcards from an area church about the same vintage http://www.ebay.com/itm/Postcard-Lot-Oklahoma-City-St-Lukes-Methodist-Ch...
Original photos from the early 1960's celebrated the hub of commerce and uniqueness, even prior to this bank offering drive-thru service, which merely increased it's popularity.
Citizen's National was the bank my family used, and I can recall as a child going to the "pineapple" building for banking, which included drive-thru tellers who gave greetings and lollypops or treats for the pup.
True also, annually very close to Christmas, Santa Claus AND reindeer WITH Rudolph and glowing nose would be strapped across the top of the Geodesic Gold Dome, descending sleigh headed down to the road.
Periodically, the traditionally high wind of the prairie would snap the tethers, and they (Santa and the crew) would be left in some precarious state. (LOL) I never remember being distressed by this, nor concerned that he wouldn't get over it. One year the weather was so bad, they finally just stopped trying to put Santa up high on the roof, and he merely sat on the flat walkway roof/awning facing Classen.
None of this of course reduced my personal appreciation for this display and the surprise of when it would arrive, as it was never the same day. And loving to hear my Father announce as our family stationwagon did approached the Gold Dome after much speculation and at least one comment of "it looks promising" ( My Father drove the route daily to his office and already knew when Santa was out) to see Santa..... and indeed, there he would be.
When my childhood family moved from Mayfair to what is now Heritage Hills, we drove by this less frequently, but were then pleasingly 'closer' to St. Nick et, al.
An external Santa hasn't shown up at the Gold Dome for years.
The bank was bought by Chase, who moved into a modern facility across Western. Various and sundry inhabitants including an eye clinic, non-profits and a bar as well as a meeting hall for events have all filled the space.
It will be great to see this famous landmark refurbished, and hopefully with increased community use. The central location, and sheer beauty of the design make it a desirable destination.
Oklahoma does have a fair amount of remarkable architecture over time, and it is good to see that the importance of preservation and recognition has become a greater part of the cloth of our city than it was 50 years ago.