The Brew OKC June 2022

Page 20


Where history and glamour meet and have a cocktail BY LACONIA BUTLER

Oklahoma City is full of history, charm, and tradition. Neighborhoods, buildings, and businesses have been around for over 100 years leaving their personal stamp on the City's pages. With a history so vast sometimes it's easy to forget just how lucky we Oklahomans are. As time goes on sometimes a new chapter in OKC history is written and the old chapters are left behind, but not forgotten. Oklahoma City has welcomed a new era of growth, bringing new business to the state. However, with all of the new buildings, one building has always been a stand-out, The First National Building. The iconic 32-floor building stands proudly in downtown OKC. Its peak adds to the now infamous Oklahoma City skyline. While you might be aware of the building, you may not be aware of its storied past. In 1931, The Johnson Brothers purchased the land and together they designed and fully built the gorgeous building in just 11 months. The First National Bank was opened in 1931. The Johnson Brothers spared no detail and created one of the most opulent and grandeur buildings. After the fall of the bank in the mid-80s, the building was left mostly in disrepair and was occupied by local government offices. After years of neglect, in 2015, the building was purchased by Gary Brooks with the intention to open this space as we see it today. Mr. Brooks knew about the history of the building and honored it. After years of meticulous rehab, The First National Center reopened its doors in 2022. Just like before the building and space spare no details. Upon stepping through the doors, it's like stepping back in time. One of elegance, old-world charm, and luxury. You can’t help but feel the electric energy. Upon entering make your way up the grand staircase to the main lobby where you will be blown away by The Great Hall. The space is the old lobby from the bank. Mr. Brooks honored the bank's history and feel and lovingly resorted the space to its art deco past. The floors are the original Italian marble, chosen for its softness to allow for women's heels to be silent. So soft in fact there are still spots located around the space that have indents from years of walk and standing. Just another fun fact about the building that makes it so unique. They also kept the artwork and painting the same as well as four 1931 murals by Edgar Spier Cameron reflecting the state's history, including the Louisiana Transfer, Sunset Trail, and Oklahoma Land Run. In the center of the room is The Great Hall’s bar. Open all day from coffee to cocktails, The Great Hall is essentially the living room or gathering space for The First National guests and visitors. You can grab a drink, sit on one of the many cozy chairs or 20

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.