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Hotel Marion, for which these stairs once served as a fire escape, had been uninhabited since the 1980s until the Midtown Renaissance group repurposed the building into high-end apartments.
Photo by LORI DUCKWORTH
A unique piece of history finds new life as an expression of industrial beauty.
By Ashley Stewart
Published January/February 2017
This salvaged staircase in central Oklahoma is suspended like a corkscrew in the sky thanks to Chris Fleming, executive vice president of the Midtown Renaissance group. The former fire escape was not in compliance with city code and was taken from the 112-year-old Hotel Marion across the street during a remodel in the spring of 2014.
Instead of discarding the structure, made unique by beautiful architectural details and more than a century of exposure to the elements, Fleming decided to repurpose it. After seeing a picture of its removal, he knew it had to be preserved.
“It had to be hung up somewhere,” Fleming says. “We just had to make that happen.”
The landings on the staircase were removed, and the fifty-step steel helix was installed in December 2014. Now, the spiral hangs at an angle above an alley between two of the group’s other buildings. It stretches about sixty feet into the sky and creates an intriguing and inviting public art space for people of the neighborhood to enjoy.
What is the name of these stairs, and in what city are they located?
Mail entries with name and address to “Lost and Found”, P.O. Box 1468, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 or email to Leighona.Bernstein@travelok.com.