The American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Adaptive Reuse Projects

Rogers County Sheriff's Office | Architect: SGA Design Group

Photography by: Jon Petersen


The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office was originally a U.S. Post Office built in 1935. In 2016, Rogers County decided to adapt the dilapidated landmark into a modern sheriff’s office, with the goal of LEED® certification. The building had been abandoned for a significant number of years. Due to numerous leaks, the entire basement flooded, leaving a condsiderable amount of black mold within the building. Paired with asbestos floor tile and pipe insulation from when the post office was built, the building was in poor shape and was an environmental hazard. The focus of the project was to retrofit the interior of the building into a modern sheriff’s office. The building shell was to remain but with significant improvements to the thermal envelope with new insulated glazing and open cell spray foam insulation in the walls. With LEED® certification a goal, the decision was made to install new skylights which had been included in the original building design, to reduce energy costs and bring in as much natural light as possible. In May 2019, the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office was awarded LEED® certification.


8th Street Market | Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris 

Photography by: Tim Soar


The 8th Street Market takes an underutilized warehouse building in downtown Oklahoma City and reinvents it as flexible space for restaurants, retail, and brewery space and taproom for Prairie Artisan Ales. The building sits on a site that slopes steeply to the bordering railway tracks, limiting the accessible street frontage. As a reaction to this—and the changing focus of the neighborhood—a new entrance is cut into the east elevation, linking the existing parking lot to a new internal ‘street’ of common area. This street feeds into the units, and is enlivened by them, with restaurant and bar seating areas meeting at the heart of the building. Natural light is introduced into the space by the inclusion of a large north-facing roof light, and the restoration of existing skylights. The street is announced on the façade on both sides of the building, with the new planted entrance portal to the east, and a similar pergola structure on the west creating cover to a raised patio; both ends have large glazed garage doors that can be opened in suitable weather to blur the distinction between inside and outside.


1212 Hudson | Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Photography by: Tim Soar


This collection of projects centers around a historic cinema building in the lively Midtown neighborhood of Oklahoma City. Built by the Sieber family and opened in 1941, the Uptown Theater was the first of its kind in the city to feature air conditioning. Its heyday was short-lived though, and subsequent addition and alteration of the original facility in the 1950s saw it converted to doctors’ offices. Building on this history of re-purposing, the three adjacent buildings are now to be revived to house three diverse functions: an indoor market in the theatre, lawyer’s office in the medical building, and taproom and brewery in the extended mercantile space. New additions are designed in a consistent architectural language that draws together the otherwise disparate materials and styles of the existing fabric, while the blade sign and marquee of the theatre is to be reinstated as a beacon for the development.


Sunnyside Diner | Architect: HSEarchitects

Photography by: Joseph Mills Photography


Sunnyside Diner is a unique rehabilitation project located along historic Route 66 in downtown Edmond. It served as a gas and service station featuring space age style, modern architecture. Over time modern elements were concealed with mansard roof shingles, wood siding and brick veneer. Inspired by the original architecture, our design team and client wanted to preserve the design. We also wanted to revitalize a prominent corner lot location that was previously dilapidated. An original material found was porcelain enamel panels, which very few were salvageable. These panels became a main feature for the exterior facade, canopies and planters clad with a similar material. The interior space also features the same panels, much of which were infilled. Additional renovations included replacing single pane glass with large storefront windows and enclosing the existing mechanic bays. The bays now serve as open dining with a new storefront system replicating the old garage doors. To add a touch of nostalgia, a blue graphic design outlines the building and canopies. The lines converge to the main “Diner” signage, all of which is reminiscent of Route 66 imagery.


Mother Road Market | Architect: Selser Schaefer Architects

Photography by: Ralph Cole Photography


Great cities are known for their iconic marketplaces. They form an indelible stamp on the local character of a place. It’s where you go to gauge the pulse of a neighborhood. Combine the energy and bustle of a daily market with an indoor | outdoor bar, covered patio, children’s play space, farmer’s market and a uniquely inspired commissary kitchen and you’ve got the ingredients for Tulsa’s very first food hall — Mother Road Market. The shell of this 1930’s brick warehouse had a strong curb appeal and was in good condition, so building upon its strengths, it was left virtually intact with only minor restoration. The elevated floor was made fully accessible with the inclusion of ramps. Existing interior walls were removed showcasing the existing bowstring steel and wood roof system. Local entrepreneurs fill the 20 merchant stalls offering a variety of eclectic food and retail concepts. Incubator restaurants and merchants line the main hall. Visitors can shop for fresh provisions from local vendors or test out the newest menus from innovative chefs. Introducing a new destination to visitors and locals alike, Mother Road Market has been a game changer for the neighborhood.


Legacy Plaza East | Architect: KKT Architects

Photography by: Adam Murphy


Legacy Plaza is a symbol of the active engagement and collaboration of Tulsa area non-profits, philanthropy and family trusts.  This formerly under-utilized, highly visible commercial property consists of two high-rise towers and a matching three-story building. KKT designed solutions for the East Tower for exterior glazing system, water infiltration, elevator replacements, life safety and code upgrades, and plumbing issues. The public common areas have been reinvented as active, engaging and collaborative spaces that include a renovated building lobby, new pre-function space, a café, a 150-person flexible conference center, classroom, and a boardroom all for use by tenants as well as local non-profits, philanthropies, and family trusts. The East Tower has been transformed into highly-valued space for its new tenants, and KKT was awarded the West Tower in late 2018.  Completed spaces will serve local non-profits for years to come.


OPUBCO- The Oklahoman | Butzer Gardner Architects

Photography by: Timothy Hursley


The Oklahoman Building reincarnates the former Century Center, a shell that represented the dashed hopes of a poorly-designed Urban Renewal-era introverted shopping mall. The sale of Oklahoma’s largest newspaper in 2011 precipitated its ownership’s decision to move to the most important intersection in downtown Oklahoma City. The former two-story internal mall is sandwiched between two levels of parking above and below grade. Its three precast concrete panel facades were originally held 30 feet back from the street, alienating pedestrians and signaling a pre-occupation with seismic loads. At its core was a dark two-story space from which occupants accessed mall tenants. The new design strips the concrete façade in favor of a lightweight steel exoskeleton and diaphanous skin that brings the structure closer to the street, and heralds a literal and metaphorical transparency for the role of the press. Street life is invited into the now brightly illuminated double-height pressroom, while restaurants at the northern and southern edges reestablish an urban dialogue. The 100+ year history of the paper is celebrated in the pressroom by some of its most memorable headlines. Today, the most important story is the closure of 50 years of urban flight and the declaration of The Oklahoman’s resurgence.


Fire Station No. 8 | James Boswell Architect

Photography by: Miller Photography


The adaptive re-use and modernization of an irreplaceable historic fire station in Tulsa, OK. The masonry brick and limestone walls have been refurbished and the wood structure is showcased in the new spaces. With a complete overhaul of the buildings systems and the addition of a second story the building is now a viable home for businesses long into the next century of this building’s history.


The Jones Assembly | James Boswell Architect

Photography by: Brandon Snider


The Jones Assembly embodies two distinct concepts: a restaurant and a concert venue. The space is designed to be flexible and capture the spirit of both, without feeling like the other when in restaurant mode or concert use. Guests never feel like they are dining in an auditorium. Originally an assembly plant, the historic Fred Jones Manufacturing Company complex produced 1 million Model-Ts during its time. After the Model-T era, the facility became one of the nation’s largest reconditioners of Ford Motor Company automotive products. Over half of the second floor of the 1923 two-story warehouse was removed, converting it into an open, two-story space with an overlooking mezzanine. Most of the roof on the adjacent 1930 single-story warehouse was removed, creating an open-air gathering space, which can be opened up to the interior space with overhead doors and glass wall systems. The adaptive re-use of the 95-year-old buildings and reclaiming and re-purposing the wood from the removed second floor contribute to the project’s sustainable highlights.


Triad Bank | Architect: The McIntosh Group

Photography by: Melissa Lukenbaugh Photography


Situated with its back to two mid-rise office buildings and a poorly maintained detention pond in a prominent location, the building's structure and envelope was damaged almost beyond repair. The detention pond could be leveraged as an asset for the staff and customers, providing much needed natural light. The site was conducive to a separate vehicular circulation path for a drive-through, safe staff parking and a prominent street presence. The priority was to solve for the functional, security and space needs of the bank, and express the client's brand through a simple, modern form and a simple color and material palette. The entry is expressed by a simple gable cleanly intersecting the roof and a glass storefront with the client's logo. The drive-through is expressed as a simple thin line that overlaps the front of the building and serves as a base for the sign. The larger mass to the back was broken by a narrow horizontal slice of glass. To the south, the back wall lets light into the offices and the office walls are glass so that the interior spaces also get daylight and a view to the landscaped water feature. White, black, gray, green (as in landscaping).


Red Crown Credit Union | Architect: W Design

Photography by: Adam Murphy


Built in 1966, The Health Center Pharmacy in Claremore Oklahoma was the first in the city with a drive-thru. This unassuming modern building would be Red Crown Credit Union’s first location in Claremore and as such the new space needed to reinforce the citizen’s confidence in Red Crown as a progressive financial institution with a hometown touch. For 50 years the building that occupied the corner of Blue Starr Drive and North Florence Avenue was a straightforward study of mid-century modern and structurally functional design featuring a structural system of exposed steel columns and beams, brick infill panels, and tectum roof decking.


PLICO at the Flatiron | Architect: Rand Elliott Architects

Photography by: Scott McDonald, Gray City Studios


Built in 1924, this historic blond brick flatiron stood vacant and boarded up for 27 years. Today, the building stands one story taller - a graceful golden presence at Downtown’s east gateway. The project includes the renovation of the historic two-level building and the addition of a modern and complementary third floor. The exterior brick has been restored and existing damaged and missing windows were replaced with historically accurate black anodized aluminum windows. Inside historic details merge gracefully with contemporary materials. Existing structural beams retain original fabrication markings and historic paint was left in place. The original exposed metal lath and concrete deck above remains. A new folded steel plate ceremonial stair is clad in clear polycarbonate and a blue polycarbonate office core defines new vs. historic. The new third floor is a respectful, complementary addition relating to the Flatiron building in shape, scale and color, its detailing, differentiated from the historic building through materials and setbacks. The unique glass columns continue the proportional scale and are designed to act as a rooftop screen wall that celebrates the view and makes the space comfortable on windy days. The addition functions as a boardroom, conference room, rooftop terrace, and kitchen.