Home OKC History's Attic Places Cruising Down NW 23 - Part One
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Cruising Down NW 23 - Part One PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Lackmeyer   
Friday, 18 December 2009 00:00

Once upon a time there was a depressed stretch of bungalows along NW 23 ... and then something magical happened. Watch this video ... and then learn the rest of the story.



700 block of NW 23rd - circa 1940s?


We've got a new batch of photos, courtesy of Mike Tharasena, who has won accolades for his renovation of a series of bungalows on the northside of the 700 block of NW 23. Some of the more vintage photos are associated with Everett L. Curtis - a matter we'll explore shortly.

As evidenced by the photo above, NW 23 was once a very different street, lined more with residences than businesses. It was also just two lanes wide. But that would change.

723 NW 23 - early days.


By most accounts these bungalows were built during World War I at a time when the corridor marked the suburban fringe of the city.

723 nw 23rd b

Photos indicate that this stretch of NW 23 remained a two-lane corridor with a mix of residential and retail, very much like the NW 16 Plaza District that remains two lanes today.

2418 Guernsey in 1927

Photos also indicate this was a nice neighborhood, with lots of homes hidden behind NW 23 along alley-sized roads like Guernsey Avenue.

2418 Guernsey in 1927

The house at 2418 Guernsey is perhaps the most interesting of the group, having been expanded from this simple white frame home shown above ....

2418 Guernsey, after additions, shingle siding added, circa 1950s?

... to this two-story shingle-sided house sometime after World War II....

An elaborate yard at 2418 Guernsey included a small pool and extensive landscaping.

To this final configuration, complete with a gym upstairs.


An upstairs gym was among the additions to 2418 Guernsey.

Keep reading, and you'll see what this house looks like now. But first, let's delve into the story of Curtis Realty.

Another look at the gym at 2418 Guernsey.

We know the home where Curtis Investment was based was 727 NW 23 - now home to Cuppies and Joe.

Curtis Realty

Mike Tharasena, who has redeveloped the stretch of homes, has a batch of photos showing the homes over the years and one thing remains constant - the large metal sign that once advertised "Curtis Investment" (it's now a black sign with no lettering).


Curtis Realty, 1960s

We also know that the business was still around through the 1970s with most of the adjoining bungalows converted to shops and offices. But based on various accounts provided by veteran residents, the strip spent much of the 1970s through the 1990s in a slow, steady decline. The properties themselves were sold by a Jack Curtis to Tharasena in 2001.

700 block of NW 23, 1999

Is there more to this story? Of course - but I've not been able to track down Curtis, and until I do, I'll have depend on help from you, the readers.

700 block of NW 23 - 1999

The above photo was taken shortly before renovations were launched by Tharasena.


The Guernsey house today - awaiting renovation

The above photo shows the Guernsey house - and gives us a good idea as to where the original home starts and the expansions were added. Below is what's left of the upstairs gym.


Although much of 2418 Guernsey has been stripped down, traces of the old gym can still be seen on the second floor.

 The homes today....

 723 NW 23 today - home to a law firm.

23rd today

Last Updated on Monday, 21 December 2009 03:45