Camelot Hotel Could Soon Become A Distant Memory

Tuesday, April 10th 2007, 2:46 pm
By: News On 6

Mayor Kathy Taylor announced plans Tuesday for the demolition of the Camelot Parkside Hotel. The city will back a loan to the building’s owners, as long as the owners agree to tear it down. The Camelot is set to come down by the end of this summer after having sat vacant for a decade. The News On 6's Chris Wright reports neighboring business owners are delighted by the news, while others still have a soft spot in their hearts for the old hotel.

"Not a good place to be the next store neighbor, I'm excited," said Jodee Winkle of Moss Collision Center.

After a decade of dilapidation, business owners were glad to learn the Camelot is coming down. Since its doors closed in the mid-90's, they say it has attracted vermin and the homeless to the area.

"Transients, they're constantly having police go over there, pulling people out, breaking windows," said Winkle.

But there are those who choose to remember the Camelot in its heyday, when it was a landmark for travelers. Tulsa Historical Society employee Joshua Pack and his family used to drive in from Pryor once a month to stay there. He says as a child who was fascinated by medieval history, the Camelot was a magical place.

"Eating lunch on Sunday afternoons in those giant tables like I was at King Arthur's round table, to me it's a sad thing," said Pack.

Under the agreement, the Tulsa Industrial Authority will loan the money for the demolition to the owners of the building. Asbestos work is scheduled to begin in July. The Camelot is expected to be torn down by September. Pack understands why the old hotel needs to be torn down, but as someone who works at preserving Tulsa's history, he says the decision is depressing and hopes the Camelot will not fade from the city's memory once it is torn down.

"That's just kind of the sad thing about architecture and buildings," said Pack. "When you tear down a building, things get forgotten."

The official details of the plan are still being worked out. The Tulsa Industrial Authority will meet Wednesday morning to further discuss the demolition agreement.

Related stories:

9/8/2001 - Future Of Camelot Hotel

1/18/2002 - Camelot Hotel Items Being Liquidated

12/3/2006 - Crumbling Landmark Hotel Escapes Wrecking Ball