by Bond Payne, Heritage Wealth Management Company
Sometime in the early 1920s, the Masonic Lodges of Oklahoma City decided that they needed a place to gather that was large enough to accommodate their members from across the City. So they commissioned Solomon Layton, the premier architect of his day and architect for such landmarks as the State Capitol, Skirvin Hotel and Mid-Continent Life Building, to design a monumental building that included a 2,000 seat auditorium. No one could have envisioned that this stately landmark perched atop a hill on the northern edge of downtown would become one of the most important buildings in the city, as a result of its architectural, historical, cultural and spiritual significance.
In 1995 the building, which became the Journal Record Building, sustained heavy damage in the Oklahoma City bombing. Many occupants were injured, some severely, and the building was rendered uninhabitable. It was soon purchased by the City of Oklahoma City using federal disaster funds, and a major effort was undertaken to save the structure. The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum eventually occupied the west 1/3 of the building, became the principal symbol of our city’s perseverance and hope, and the steward of The Oklahoma Standard.
However, the majority of the building has remained largely vacant for the past 20 years and is the last visible wound of the bombing in our city’s core. So the past four years, Heritage has patiently and diligently pursued its vision to purchase and restore the Journal Record Building as a symbol of our commitment to our community and our expression of The Oklahoma Standard. This undertaking includes a restoration of the physical structure, but also a restoration of the scars on our urban landscape and feelings of loss that the empty building symbolizes. In our mind, we are restoring a building, a neighborhood and a community.
As you have probably read in the newspapers, we successfully closed on the acquisition of the building recently, and I want our clients and professional partners to understand why we are undertaking this project and how it supports a culture of stewardship, quality and pioneering. Please call me for a tour of the building so we can discuss how this and other events at Heritage will help serve your family for generations to come.