Owl Court in Oklahoma City changes owners

A group of investors has acquired the historic Owl Court motel in Oklahoma City and pledges to revive the property into at least one new business.

The Oklahoman reported the group thinks the area, known as the town of Britton before being annexed into Oklahoma City during the 1950s, is ripe for revival:

Owl Court LLC, consisting of Thomas Rossiter, Marcus Ude, Brad Rice, Rusty LaForge, Tyler Holmes and Marc Weinmeister, purchased the landmark from John Dunning, who saved the corner from being purchased and razed to make way for a car lot in 2006. […]

Rice and Rossiter think the area is ripe for the sort of revival taking place in old town areas of the community. The street still has a Main Street vibe with the old Ritz theater to the west having been purchased and cleaned up by its new owner, Andrew Hwang. […]

Rice believes Owl Court could be a great location for a coffee shop, with no such offering near the growing campus down the street of American Fidelity as well an assortment of medical offices.

Dunning purchased the long-closed motel in 2006 and kept it from being torn down for a car lot. Dunning is best-known for owning the Western Trail Trading Post antique store on the Western Avenue alignment of 66, less than a mile from Owl Court.

But after a few improvements, the motel fell into disrepair again. Oklahoma City had placed the Owl Court on a list of delinquent and abandoned properties and faced demolition until the investor group stepped in.

Owl Court will host a Britton District Day on Nov. 3 for former residents of the town so they can reminisce.

According to the National Park Service, the Owl Court was built to serve travelers on the 1931 Route 66 bypass around Oklahoma City. The Owl Court complex operated a gas station, motel, and cafe until the 1970s.

Here’s an old postcard image of the motel, probably from the 1930s or early ’40s.

Dunning received a $4,776 cost-share grant in 2004 from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program to restore the motel’s roof.

(Excerpted image from Google Street View of Owl Court in Oklahoma City in May 2017; old postcard image courtesy of 66Postcards.com)

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