Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Breaking News: Old bricks visible on downtown building

We have long documented Oklahoman business writer Steve Lackmeyer’s unhealthy obsession with Downtown Oklahoma City. Yesterday, though, things took a dramatic turn for the worse. He’s now reporting that a historic downtown building was made with bricks, and that those bricks are now visible with the naked eye. From NewsOK:

The original red brick on the historic Braniff Building, Robert S. Kerr and Robinson Avenues in downtown Oklahoma City can be seen for the first time in decades as renovations continue as part of the SandRidge Commons development.

SandRidge Energy Inc. plans to expand its operations into the building with retail to open on the ground floor. The previous owner, Kerr-McGee Corp., painted the building all gray as it was absorbed into the company’s corporate campus in the 1960s. The 10-story, 75,584-square-foot building was built in 1923 by Thomas Braniff for his insurance agency and was later home to the airline he founded, Braniff Airways, until he moved operations to Dallas in the early 1940s.

A 1970 application to the National Register of Historic Places by historian Bob Blackburn cited that legacy, noting Braniff was one of the city’s most “successful and influential businessmen,” and also noted the building was designed by the city’s foremost architect of the early 20th century, Andrew Solomon Layton.

I understand Steve covers the downtown beat and everything, but isn’t his obsession with old buildings becoming creepier by the day? It would be fine if he was obsessed with midgets or Gary England, but old buildings are just weird and boring. When he first saw those bricks in the Braniff building, he probably felt the same way I did when I first saw the 1991 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. It’s an interesting feeling.

Anyway, I think it’s about time the Oklahoman business department schedules an intervention with Steve and confronts him about his unhealthy obsession. It would be amusing to see Don Mecoy shed a tear while confessing that he misses the old “food truck obsessed” Steve Lackmeyer. Richard Mize could even confess how much it hurt to be scooped by Steve on various real estate stories over the past few years. I’m sure it would all be very touching.

If that doesn’t work, someone should at least tip-off the people who produce the show “Taboo.” They could video Steve hugging the old buildings, praying to Bob Blackburn, and following around Larry Nichols’s and the guy from Hobby’s Hoagies with a magnifying glass while looking for downtown news. Hell, they could even introduce everyone to that weird miniature model-making Russian dude that Lackmeyer kidnapped and hides in his basement. That guy makes some impressive little models.

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