Saving Gold 

The Gold Dome, which once housed a bank at N.W. 23rd Street and Classen Boulevard, will become the new headquarters for a national environmental consulting and engineering firm. TEEMCO, which is based in Edmond and has 65 employees, purchased the building from developer David Box for an undisclosed sum.

“TEEMCO believes the Route 66 iconic corner of N.W. 23rd and Classen Boulevard should be preserved for future generations to appreciate,” company spokesman Arrow Cunningham said at a news conference last Friday. “Revitalizing the Gold Dome fits into our core belief that man is here to be the caretaker of the environment, and TEEMCO Foundation’s mission to restore and revitalize significant areas.”

He acknowledged that the geodesic Gold Dome “symbolizes home for so many people in Oklahoma City.”
Specific renovation details will be announced during a groundbreaking party scheduled for next month, but Cunningham said the firm will try to restore the dome to its original condition. It was built in 1959 and designed by Robert B. Roloff.

Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer congratulated Box and TEEMCO on their partnership before offering a bit of humor.

“People will always know where to find you,” she said. “They won’t need to ask your address.”

Salyer also said she was one of many picketers 10 years ago when a previous Gold Dome owner sought to have it demolished.

“I believe you have found the right use,” she told TEEMCO officials. “I am so heartened this was able to come together.”

The so-named Uptown 23rd Street district, she noted, is in the midst of a renaissance. The area has drawn a flurry of upscale restaurants and trendy bars, while The Rise, a mixed-use development of retail and restaurants, remains in the planning stages for 23rd and Walker Avenue.

Box announced he plans to develop property east of the Gold Dome.

“The building holds a great deal of significance to many people in Oklahoma City,” he said. “I’m excited to work alongside TEEMCO to refresh this area, and preserve the Gold Dome.”

Box purchased the Gold Dome for $800,000 at a foreclosure auction in September 2012 after its former owner, Dr. Irene Lam, stopped making payments to the bank. At that time, Box said he did not have any plans for the building.

In March, he acknowledged his options were limited: Sell the property or tear it down.

Later, Box said he was losing as much as $10,000 a month on his investment after the last of the tenants cleared out by the end of 2012. In addition, improvements to the aluminum roof would cost an estimated $2.5 million.

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