Medical Tower

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Fritzler-Knoblock
1966
3121 NW Expressway, OKC

If you go look for this building, you will likely drive around and around and give up in disgust, thinking that we’ve misprinted the address.  But, trust me, we haven’t.  While driving around, you probably noticed one of the ugliest buildings ever created … well, sadly, that’s the building you’re looking for.  What now qualifies as the worst remodel in the history of the world — or Oklahoma City, anyway — began life as the very elegantly designed Medical Tower.  The 10-story, charcoal brick building highlighted with white MoSai trim was the brainchild of Drs. Meredith Appleton, J. Hartwell Dunn, and Charles Reynolds, Jr., and the $1.3 million, top-hatted structure provided room for 30-40 doctors and was completed in 1966.  Check out this shot of the model:

 

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Here’s the tower under construction:

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And the finished product:

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Now for the sad part.  Here’s what the Medical Building has morphed into, an insipid, vomit yellow piece of blech that is now a minimally-windowed Country Inn and Suites Hotel:

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Developer Bob Patel bought then redeveloped the Medical Tower with a $4.2 million renovation in 2002; the architect responsible for this mess was Socrates Lazaridis of Renaissance Architects.   According to Patel, “my desire to restore this stately building to a more appealing and productive state has been realized.”  Huh?  This monstrosity is better than what was there originally, he thinks?  I guess everyone has different ideas of what is tasteful and “appealing,” but I doubt that many people would pick this version over the original.  Eesh!  From the number of cars in the parking lot when I took this photo — all three of them — I would say that this horror doesn’t attract a lot of guests.  I mean, who wants to stay in the ugliest building in all of OKC?

For more information about Fritzler-Knoblock and their work, go here.  Read more about the Founders District here.