buick sign

project team press photo

Broadway Avenue, the primary north-south corridor into the booming town of Oklahoma City, was one of the widest boulevards in the city’s infancy, and early residential homes along the street turned into commercial buildings by the 1920s. The historic district in the northeast part of downtown was home to over fifty automobile dealerships, car service companies, hotels and apartment buildings.

As much of downtown began to deteriorate in the coming decades, Automobile Alley followed suit.  Land around the railroad tracks was utilized for industrial and manufacturing space until the early 1960s and it wasn’t until after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that city officials began to emphasize rejuvenation for Automobile Alley, calling it the “front door to downtown” and aiding in the effort to redevelop the area, transforming many of the showrooms and storefronts into upscale lofts, galleries, restaurants and offices.

Today, there is renewed interest in restoring the unique urban area and a number of businesses have joined the renaissance. This new push of development continues to enhance the Alley’s position as downtown’s new hip urban center.

The addition of the rooftop sign to the historic home of the Buick Motor Company has added to the dynamic character of Automobile Alley, which is peppered with other historically inspired lighted signs. The rooftop sign recreates the historic Buick sign from the 1920s. The sign is composed of painted aluminum letters with neon lighting on a painted steel frame.