Chairman L.F. Rooney III of Manhattan Construction and Oklahoma
Historical Society Executive Director Bob Blackburn have signed a
$16.39 million contract for Manhattan to build the first phase of
the new Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.
Manhattan Construction won the contract with the low bid through
the Oklahoma Department of Central Services.
The first phase of the $52 million History Center will include
construction of the outer shell and site work. The 200,000-square-
foot building on 17.28 acres will include a new Oklahoma Museum of
History, Research Center and Historical Society offices.
"The new History Center will become a major new attraction for
the community and an anchor for redevelopment of NE 23rd Street. It
also will combine with the new State Capitol Dome to redefine the
State Capitol Complex as the centerpiece of the crossroads of
Oklahoma and the nation," Blackburn said.
Construction, scheduled to begin by Dec. 1 on the first phase, is
expected to take 16 to 18 months for the entire History Center.
"By the end of phase one, we hope to have started on phase two,
which is the interior, the exhibits and the grounds themselves,"
Blackburn said. "If we keep everything on schedule, we should finish
construction in the fall of 2003."
After moving the collections and getting all of the exhibits up
and running, the center should open to the public that following
spring, he added.
An architectural team of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum of St.
Louis and Beck Associates of Oklahoma City and Tulsa designed the
new History Center that will feature a limestone and granite
highlighted exterior. The structure will blend with the State
Capitol and the current Wiley Post Historical Building, which will
be redeveloped by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
A curved-design will "embrace" the State Capitol, according to
"We selected the site because we wanted to be close to the
Capitol because the Capitol is one symbol of unity of the entire
state," he said.
Haley Sharpe Design Ltd. of London and New York is designing the
exhibits for the new State Museum.
The new History Center will feature 32,000 square feet of exhibit
space in the Oklahoma Museum of History, which will face the State
Capitol. Exhibits will focus on the people, cultures, historical
events and historical places of Oklahoma, plus 19,000 square feet of
artifact storage and space to design and build exhibits. …