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Route 66 News

New Gold Dome owner backs off from demolition efforts

The new owner of the Gold Dome in Oklahoma City has halted efforts to demolish the historic structure along Route 66, reported The Oklahoman newspaper on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, David Box filed a demolition permit for the geodesic dome structure. When he bought it last fall for $800,000, he pledged to preserve it.

When the city rejected his demolition permit, Box said he would pay someone to remove just the golden-colored roof. But that’s been coolly received by the city as well.

Now, it appears Box has experienced another change of heart:

Box said Monday he has heard concerns and criticism of those who want to save the Gold Dome, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

“I really like the building,” Box said. “I’d like to save it. But I feel as if I’m boxed in, I’m in a corner. I’m looking to the city or citizens to help. I bought it at a sheriff’s auction. I was the only bidder. It probably wasn’t as well thought out as it should have been.” […]

“I’m just looking at all options,” Box explained. “The goal is to save the dome if I can, or find a partner to make it happen.” […]

“I don’t want it on my tombstone that I tore down the Gold Dome,” Box said. “But the taxpayers paid $1 million to fix it up. The bank sought to get rid of it. Irene Lam couldn’t make it work. So instead of complaining, let’s do something.”

Box also told The Architect’s Newspaper Blog he would pay someone $100,000 to take the building off his hands.

An op-ed piece by Richard Mize on Saturday in The Oklahoman suggested that The Flaming Lips, an internationally prominent rock band with roots in Oklahoma City, take over:

Calling Wayne Coyne and friends. The Gold Dome is weird enough — ah, eccentric — on the outside. Considering what y’all did with the Womb art gallery off downtown, imagine what a touch of The Flaming Lips could do with the inside of the Gold Dome. Or maybe just lend your Lips to the cause.

The idea of The Flaming Lips owning the Gold Dome is an inspired one. But it remains to be seen whether Coyne & Co. hold an interest — or enough money — to refurbish it.

The Gold Dome was bank building, built in 1958. It sits at Northwest 23rd Street and North Classen Boulevard, both sections of Route 66.

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