Five firms are competing to win the bid to renovate Tulsa's historic Church Studio.
For the next three weeks, the five firms chosen will work to come up with their bids on the renovation and additions to the iconic Tulsa landmark where Leon Russell spent so much time.
A 3D scan will help guide Chris Lilly and Lilly Architects as they work to bring the famous space back to life.
“When you come out and try to document a building with a tape measure and piece of paper, it’s really hard to capture the essence of what a building really is,” he said.
The original 8,000 square feet of the Church will be renovated into a multi-million-dollar studio and control room.
“It is almost like you are designing a musical instrument so that recording everything needs to be glued and screwed together almost like a guitar,” Lilly said.
A 3,000-square foot addition to the building will now serve as the main entrance.
“It will be an opportunity to showcase the history with gallery spaces and things like that and give an opportunity for people to learn what the Church is,” Lilly said.
Also, a service elevator is part of the plan to avoid lugging equipment up and down the front steps.
What’s now the basement will house a screening room for films or documentaries and be outfitted with a full bar.
Outside there will be a private performance area.
It’s all part of the plan to give artists the kind of hospitality expected in the industry, and what The Church Studio provided for so many years.
“For world-class performers to be able to come into town and not only have the facility to support the recording but the facility to support and cater to them,” Lilly said. “It is a legacy project. It is something that really speaks to the history and legacy of music in Tulsa.”
Once construction begins, they hope to be finished in a year but possibly ramp it up in anticipation of Elton John's concert in Tulsa.