Ground Broken for Historic OKPOP Museum in Tulsa

RIP STELL for GTR Newspapers
CEREMONIAL BEGINNING: Tulsa and Oklahoma area dignitaries moved the first dirt guitar-looking shovel at the groundbreaking of the OKPOP museum, located on North Main Street across the street from the historic Cain’s Ballroom.

Oklahoma Historical Society officials and Nabholz Construction Corp. representatives were joined in October by Gov. Kevin Stitt, Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, members of the Oklahoma legislature, Tulsa Regional Chamber and VisitTulsa for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP). Nabholz will construct the iconic space at 422 N. Main St. in Tulsa, across the street from the historic Cain’s Ballroom, home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.
The high-end exhibits at OKPOP will include artifacts and archival materials directly from Oklahoma’s famous musicians, filmmakers, actors, artists, cartoonists, authors, comedians, athletes and more. OKPOP is managed by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS), a statewide organization which opened the Smithsonian- affiliated Oklahoma History Center in 2005.
“OKPOP is dedicated to telling the story of Oklahoma and the historical influence our citizens have made on popular culture around the world,” said Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. “These world-class exhibits will inspire future generations of Oklahomans and inform thousands of visitors about the gifted individuals whose talent was directly impacted by their roots in Oklahoma.”
Last year, OKPOP unveiled the “grit and glitz” design by Overland Partners in collaboration with Tulsa’s Lilly Architects.
“The design conveys the collision of cultures and artistic styles unique to Oklahoma, which has created a rich story telling tradition where creativity flourishes,” said Jeffrey Moore, executive director of OKPOP. “The building façade reflects the idea of the ‘grit’ of the Oklahoma work ethic through the use of gray brick and black steel, mixing with the ‘glitz’ of show business, expressed with gold and silver metal skins.”
The 60,000 square-foot space will be a “living experience” and will include event venues, audio and recording studios, exhibit galleries, performance stages and retail space. A 4,300 square-foot terrace will allow guests to have a bird’s-eye view of the popular North Main Street and famous music hall, Cain’s Ballroom.
“OKPOP is a monumental achievement for the state of Oklahoma,” said Shane Fernandez of Nabholz and the 2020 chairman of regional tourism for visitTulsa. “This project took nearly 10 years to come to fruition and Nabholz’ leadership has been there since the early stages of conception.”