The Oklahoman A four-member Oklahoma City Council committee was to review that day an analysis of the Legislature’s proposal to have the city assume responsibility for the American Indian Cultural Center & Museum.
At that point a bereft 20-year-old state of Oklahoma project, it had been virtually abandoned when legislators quit paying for construction.
The architecturally striking complex sat partially finished near downtown.
Today, rechristened as the First Americans Museum, it is scheduled to open Sept. 18.
The first public hint something momentous was occurring came Dec. 18, 2015, when a notice of the agenda noted the council committee would hear, in addition to its consultants’ findings, a presentation by the Chickasaw Nation.
Gloom preceded the committee’s meeting.
The Legislature’s idea was for the city of Oklahoma City to complete and operate the museum.The state would issue $25 million in bonds but wanted revenue-sharing to repay the debt. Oklahoma City taxpayers would bring $9 million to the table, plus $31 million in private donations.It would now be up to the city to develop property around the complex — property the city had deeded to the state as a sweetener to attract the project.Of the terms, council members “lost all interest when they saw the details,” said Mayor Mick Cornett. OKC Council’s response to Chickasaw Nation proposal Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher, a committee member, said from what he knew, the proposal was “probably not viable.”Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid said it was dead on arrival.City Manager Jim Couch would later characterize it this way: “We’re […]