The skyscraper section of Downtown OKC is less than one square mile in area. Within that area are several substantial parking garages. I’ll try to make a series of this. First up today was the Santa Fe Plaza parking garage, seen in this shot from ground level. This used to be called the Skirvin Plaza, after the famous landmark hotel on the northern side (left) of this cul de sac. The hotel was almost bulldozed, but due to public outcry it was saved and someone finally got it working again. It’s now being used as a pricey hotel right in the downtown area. I honestly don’t even know anyone who could afford a room there.
This next shot (right) is from the seventh floor of the Santa Fe parking garage, looking west down Park Avenue. This an example of “urban canyon.” My bike was locked to a lonely lamppost just below where I’m standing for that shot. The whole garage has a wide ledge around it to prevent people attempting to climb down the outside face of the structure. There was a rash of mostly kids falling to their deaths awhile back, trying to climb between floors. This thing is so big that walking to the NW corner put me in line of sight of a different street. This image (left) is looking off that corner. That red thing on the lower right is a fancy sculpture in an open plaza; it’s basically giant steel tubing cut at odd angles and welded into a sort of random cluster.
It was a long hike across the top deck of this thing back to the SE corner. You can see it looks down on the passenger rail station (the covered area). Folks have to climb up stairs wedged between that building and the high wall upon which the tracks stand. You can ride the train to just one place: Fort Worth, TX. Our state officials have been begging and bugging everyone possible to add another line up toward Tulsa, and maybe a line to Wichita, KS. Our passenger rail service died some decades ago due to low ridership. Now it’s kind of an “in” thing to do again.
From this garage I rode up a block and west a few blocks to the garage contracted to the County Courthouse. The shot to the left here is looking back to the northern end of the previous garage. This one has 9 floors but the view was about out on the western edge of the skyscrapers. This next view (right) is SW and takes in the Arts Center in the near foreground. Maybe you can tell that’s another parking garage in the background left (that’s another target for this series). In the middle ground with the circular sidewalk is the City Municipal Building. That’s where I had to go and pick up my claim check from the bike wreck. To the rear on the right side is an odd brick tower: our County Jail (AKA, “The Money Pit”). My son works there currently as Fire Safety Inspector, among other things. This last shot is looking at near NW OKC, prominently featuring our Saint Anthony’s Hospital up on the horizon. It sits on a low rise and is only the latest iteration of their building, having sat there for ages. They now have several franchise medical centers around the metro.