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Former Elite Club Target Of City Ordinances

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The Tulsa Club first opened in the 20s, and it was where the city's elite once spent their free time. The Tulsa Club first opened in the 20s, and it was where the city's elite once spent their free time.
Armed with a warrant, officials entered the club on Thursday to look for violations. Armed with a warrant, officials entered the club on Thursday to look for violations.
According to a city ordinance, a building can be declared a nuisance after it has been vacant for three years. According to a city ordinance, a building can be declared a nuisance after it has been vacant for three years.

The City of Tulsa wants the owner of a historic building to step up, or get out of downtown.  The Tulsa Club has sat vacant for nearly a decade, and officials are enforcing ordinances in hopes of eventually rehabilitating it.  The News On 6's Chris Wright reports city officials say the club, which sits at the corner of Fifth and Cincinnati, is an eyesore and if the owner does not do anything about it, they will.

The Tulsa Club, boarded up and covered with graffiti, bears little resemblance to the once grand building that opened in the 20s.  Back then, it was where the city's elite spent their spare time.  Now, it sits vacant.

"This is a beautiful old building, I went to school a block from here, grew up around this building.  This building has a lot of history in the city of Tulsa," said Harold Adair, City of Tulsa.

In an effort to eventually re-capture that beauty, the city is going after the club's owner, Carl Morony of California. 

Last week, with a warrant in hand, Adair and other officials inspected the entire building.  He says they found numerous violations, including evidence of recent fires, alcohol use, a leaking roof, as well as mechanical and plumbing problems.

"All these are hazards that affect the community of Tulsa, people downtown, those that live downtown," said Adair.

Starting Monday, until the club is brought up to code, Morony will be fined $1,000 a day.

Adair has faith that if Morony does not comply, a new owner will step in.

The vandals have had their way with the building over the past decade. The facade is covered in graffiti, everything is boarded up.  But city officials hope to eventually restore the Tulsa Club to resemble what it looked like in its prime.

It's an effort supported by those who attend church across the street, the people forced to look at the eyesore all the time.

"It's a beautiful building.  Nice architecture. But I just notice how much it's been really dilapidated, vandalized," said Tulsa resident David Smith.

The city gave Morony 60 days to work on the building before the fines kicked in, but says he did not take any action.

Despite all the problems, officials say the building is structurally sound.  They hope someone buys it and renovates it, so it does not have to be demolished.

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