Tulsa engineering firm renovates downtown building

Monday, January 9th 2006, 10:22 am
By: News On 6

While some areas of downtown Tulsa are being torn down, an old Tulsa warehouse at 200 East Brady is being saved and refurbished. Wallace Engineering believes it's important to preserve the old structures.

In fact, as News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, they're making this one into their company's headquarters. What happens when you turn a bunch of civil engineers loose on their own 1927 warehouse?

Wallace Engineering's Brad Thurman says something interesting. "For us, it was fun, because as engineers, it gives us the ability to come in and do something a little bit different." Different can mean transforming one entire wall into modern steel and glass. But as Thurman takes us on a tour, different can also mean keeping some of the old glass. "They've been re-glazed with double-pane glass, so they've got a good insulation value, but they're all still operable, they'll all still have hardware on them so we can block them open."

And beveled glass would probably fool anybody into thinking it's new. "It really cleaned up beautifully."

The building mixes two different architectural styles although Thurman says they were popular at the same time, while we were doing this in America, they were doing this over in Europe. "It was kind of fun marrying the modern look of the west face with the old part of the building."

Old and new, character and convenience. Thurman says these old buildings can be the best of both worlds. And in many cases he says, it can be cost-effective. After all, this is what they do. "It was a good chance to showcase our wares on our own building."

And they want to showcase what can be done with all the old buildings in the Brady District, which they believe can continue its comeback. "We're hoping that it will show people that it can be done down here."

You might not have heard of Wallace, but they have done many projects in Tulsa and around the country including St. John and St. Francis hospitals, the Quik Trip headquarters, and the Oklahoma History Center among others.