Ongoing renovations of 1920s and 1930s commercial buildings in Oklahoma City have been revealing buried architectural treasures in the last few months. “Updated” facade treatments applied decades ago are being stripped away, revealing that they have been preserving interesting historic details of the buildings all along.
Check out the before and after of these four storefront facades currently being restored in Uptown and the Plaza District.
2415 N Walker (1929)
This especially vibrant paint job was applied in the last few years, but the shingled awning has been around a while. The building has hosted a variety of clubs and venues.
Removing the shingled canopy and a brick facade revealed this beautiful storefront, including the paint job that identifies its former tenants. Part of an Uptown commercial redevelopment called “The Rise,” this structure will become a pizza restaurant.
519 NW 23rd (1939)
This forgettable strip center was known as the home to a furniture liquidation store for years.
Removing the canopy surprised everyone with this beautifully preserved granite facade. Also part of the Rise development, it will now be the home of several new retail and restaurant businesses.
1732 NW 16th (1930)
The Blair’s Upholstery building in the Plaza District looked like this for decades.
All along, it was hiding these great storefront details. The building will be home to a craft beer restaurant concept and a brick-and-mortar location for a popular ice cream food truck.
1526 N McKinley (1926)
The oldest building on the list is this corner store in the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood a few blocks from the Plaza District. It sure looked like there were no redeeming qualities of this structure.
But in the last few days, peeling back aluminum siding has revealed original windows, siding, and paint.
Next time you see telltale canopies and facades like these around your town, look for the signs that they might just be time capsules for beautiful old storefronts waiting to be rediscovered.