Highlights from the 2014 AIA Tour, Part 2

text by Lynne Rostochil, photos by Lynne and Robyn Arn (where labeled)

There were so many interesting buildings on this year’s AIA tour that we are covering the event in two posts this week.  Here we go with Part 2:


Guardian Lofts

guardian lofts - exterior

Originally a non-descript warehouse across Robinson from the original First Christian Church, the Guardian Lofts now claims 37 apartments with varying floor plans and a restaurant space (The Garage) that includes a comfortable outdoor seating area with nary a busy street or ugly parking lot in sight.  Two units were open for the tour, the first of which is a 1,200 sf, one bedroom loft on two levels that includes a huge wall of windows:

guardian lofts - living

Perhaps my favorite features of the apartment are the kitchen island that comes complete with a flip-up dining table that can be used for large groups and the abundance of storage built into the staircase leading to the bedroom.  You can get a tiny peak of the table in this photo, as well as the built-ins:

guardian lofts - kitchen storage

The view of the kitchen/loft area from the living room:


Leaving this unit, it’s a short walk through the Guardian’s common areas…

Guardian Hallway

(photo by Robyn Arn)

 guardian lofts common area

… to a second story, one-level efficiency that I’d love to call my own.  Look at that great band of windows that run the length and width of the unit:

guardian lofts - living 2

How would you like to wake up to this great view every morning?

guardian bedroom

As with the previous apartment, the kitchen here has the same island with flip-up dining table that I have a huge crush on:

Guardian 2

(photo by Robyn Arn)

Yeah, I could totally see myself living here in the years after the kiddos have moved on … better get my name on the list now!


Calvary Baptist Church

calvary baptist church - sign

Like many of you, I felt a lot of trepidation of what might happen to the much revered Calvary Baptist Church when it was announced that the 90-year-old building was going to be converted into office space for the Dan Davis Law Firm.  I mean, this building was the center of the Deep Deuce neighborhood during its glorious heyday and came close to being the home for a young Martin Luther King during his early years as a pastor, so a botched remodel certainly would have stirred the ire of many people who care so much about this OKC icon.  Apparently, MODA, the architectural firm responsible for the remodel, respected the history and architecture of Calvary Baptist just as much as the community because they have done an inspired job of creating offices in the beloved sanctuary.  The old pews in the heart of the room remain untouched while glass-enclosed offices have been built along the sanctuary’s perimeter — the result of old mixed with subtle modernity is quite impressive:

calvary baptist church - sanctuary

Frameless glass walls and doors simultaneously maintain the views of the church’s stunning stained glass windows and provide privacy for Dan Davis employees:

calvary baptist church - offices

calvary baptist church - windows



The Hart Building

hart building

Constructed in 1946 to house the busy Hart Industrial Supply Company, the Hart Building’s standout Streamline design makes it one of the most elegant structures surrounding downtown.   The 40,000 sf former warehouse was recently converted to mixed-use office space, with several businesses, including the building’s architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris LLC, calling the Hart Building home.  Also, radio station KOSU’s Oklahoma City headquarters is located on the first floor, where passersby can stop and watch all of the live studio action (not on this day, though):

hart building - KOSU studios

I love how every detail in this building was considered, even down to the tiny tools on the glass walls that harken back to the building’s industrial warehouse days:

hart building - detail

Upstairs is a collection of vintage motorcycles…


… and a lounge area, where you can view vintage ’50s Hart catalogs that have some great graphics of the building in its early years:


hart building - drawing

hart building - catalog 2

hart building - catalog


 Mass House

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to see the Mass House or Small Architects, but Robyn did get by the Mass House and snapped a couple of photos of the lush gardens surrounding the ’20s-era home:

Mass Yard 2

Mass Yard

If you have any photos of the architectural tour that you’d like to share, please feel free to post them on the Mod Squad Facebook page:


Also, a huge thanks goes to Melissa Hunt and the rest of the gang at Central OK AIA who put on this great tour every year, the building owners for letting us enjoy your beautiful spaces, the sponsors who provide much-needed support, the volunteers for making everything run so smoothly, and, finally, the visionary architects who design such incredible spaces for us to enjoy.