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OKC: Second Time Around PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 01 September 2008 04:31

By Steve Lackmeyer and Jack Money, Full Circle Press, 2006, in print, sold at locally-owned book stores and gift shops in Oklahoma City and at www.fullcirclebooks.com. The book retails for $39.95 and is in the second printing.

Review: Two award-winning journalists from The Oklahoman have written a beautiful coffee-table book about the history and development of downtown Oklahoma City.

"OKC: Second Time Around" by Steve Lackmeyer and Jack Money is a collection of more than 250 photographs and the story that accompanies them. The authors have well documented the ups and downs of downtown and the political implications that set the development of the downtown section back a few years or breathed life into the area.

The booms and bust cycles and the roller-coaster pattern of development are presented in a readable and interesting fashion. The heartaches and triumphs of urban renewal are told in narrative form, and there are many photographs of old buildings and of the people who played critical roles in the development of downtown.

Elected officials and captains of commerce are featured for the parts they played in keeping downtown alive. A review of the book's contents page reveals the comprehensive treatment the authors have given the subject.

There are major chapters on urban renewal, predictions that downtown was dead, visions of up-and-coming leaders such as Neal Horton, and the rise to prominence of Bricktown. This is a real story, based on historical fact, failed plans, misguided promotions and ultimate success. In the foreword, Oklahoma Historical Society executive director Bob Blackburn reflects on the stamina shown by downtown leaders who, like their fathers and grandfathers, faced dark times in Oklahoma.

"It is not a surprise that the people of Oklahoma City faced what looked like a hopeless depression in the mid-1980s with a stagnant economy, a crumbling inner city and a prevailing sense that the best was in the past. It is also no surprise that those very people found a way through the challenge and took advantage of every opportunity," Blackburn wrote.

"OKC: Second Time Around" is a remarkable preservation of a slice of Oklahoma history that gives credit where credit is due and maps for future generations the elements of success that can be emulated in any major city in the nation. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the story of the successful rebuilding of downtown Oklahoma City.

- Bob Burke
Last Updated on Monday, 01 September 2008 04:36