By Dan Bewley and Scott Thompson, The News On 6
BRISTOW, OK -- A Bristow car dealership is rising from the ashes. Bolin Ford is ready to rebuild after it was nearly destroyed by fire last December.
With the turn of a shovel, ground is broken for a new building at Bolin Ford in Bristow. The new building replaces one that was lost in a fire last December. Smoke billowed from the showroom when it broke out December 4th; the entire block it stood on was in danger.
"It's terrible. It makes me sick. It makes me sick," said Bolin Ford Co-Owner Kathy Witsotsky in December of last year.
On Thursday, she was in a much different mood.
"It's very exciting, it's been a long time coming," said Bolin Ford Co-Owner Kathy Witsotsky.
Witsotsky's family has owned Bolin Ford since 1959, but the buildings date back even further.
"The bottom building was built in 1923 as the first Ford dealership, the middle building was built in 1927, and then the building that burnt down was built in 1925," said Bolin Ford Co-Owner Kathy Witsotsky.
Contractors say, despite the fire, the old buildings are in very good shape and it should be a simple process to restore what was nearly destroyed.
"A lot of the existing building, a lot of bolt trusses, things like that are still intact. They actually salvaged a lot of the interior finishes in the adjacent building," said Vic Alford with Flintco.
The Bolin family says the most important part of the restoration is to match the new design with the old buildings, saying the goal is to stay retro and blend into the history of the Mother Road to keep "Rollin' with Bolin."
"It's very important to keep the retro look for Bristow because all the buildings are very historic and very detailed and we want to try to keep that. Plus, to be a pinnacle for Route 66 coming into Bristow," said Bolin Ford Co-Owner Kathy Witsotsky.
Construction should take a year, but the family wants to remind everyone they are still open and hope their customers can forgive the mess in the meantime.