Oklahoma City was founded during the great land rush of 1889. It reached a population of 10,000 in just a few hours. Today its population is over 600,000 (and growing) with over a million in the Metro. Located almost exactly in the center of the state, it is the capital of Oklahoma. In the late 1900s downtown Oklahoma City became devastated because of white flight and the move to the suburbs. Then, during the Urban Renewal days of the early 1980s, controversial urban planning allowed for the destruction of almost 50 historic buildings. Now it is undergoing a renaissance with some wonderful restaurants and shops. Examples include the Biltmore Hotel, which was imploded to make way for the I. M. Pei-designed Myriad Botanical Gardens. Bricktown is a hot area within the city proper. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed in 1995, killing 168 innocent people, and is now a moving memorial. The economy is booming courtesy of the oil industry's new growth in the region. Photos of water taxi in Bricktown section of town courtesy of Wikipedia and Soonerfever.
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Where to Retire in Oklahoma City and Home Prices
Many people live in active communities just outside of the city, or in the many nice suburbs like Edmond. There are some very wealthy and nice neighborhoods in the northwest where homes sell in the millions, thanks to the current oil boom. The median selling price of a home in OC was $161,000 during the 4th quarter of 2018. (NAR).
What is special about Oklahoma City
It is inexpensive to live in Oklahoma City, which is a friendly place. The city is trying hard with its urban renewal projects. It has some interesting Art Deco buildings. One of the more interesting things about Oklahoma City is its Film Exchange District, which encompasses 42 square blocks in the Business Improvement District. The district had its start with silent films and included the likes of Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Fox Films. The Crystal Bridge is part the Myriad Botanical Gardens, a large downtown urban park designed by I. M. Pei. Bricktown is an interesting part of town, and so is the nearby monument and park to the Oklahoma Land Rush, which is definitely worth a visit.
What is not special about Oklahoma City
The crime rate is high and there is not that much residential housing in the downtown. The city has the dubious distinction of being hit by more tornadoes than any other city in the U.S. Oklahoma City traditionally has lived in Tulsa's shadow, but is definitely on the way up.
Who will like retirement in Oklahoma City
People who want to remain in Oklahoma but crave a more urban experience.
Local economy is driven by
As the capital of the State much of the economy is due to the State Capitol, federal office buildings, and the OU Medical School. However the oil boom is so hot in recent years that there is plenty of money rolling in from deep underground.
Climate and Physical Environment
The average January temperature is about 36. Summers can bring tornadoes and hot temperatures, with the average July temp in the low 80s. Tornadoes are 4 times as likely here as in remainder of U.S. Oklahoma City is located in the center of the state.
Restaurants & Cultural Scene
OKC has a number of museums including the Science Museum, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial. There are theaters including the Lyric and the Jewel. There are several colleges and community colleges which offer some cultural opportunities. The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory is quite extraordinary, so is the immense National Cowboy Museum, as well as the Landrush Memorial and Park. Downtown has some interesting restaurants, including Kitchen No 324, a downtown restaurant and one of the best your editor ever ate at. You can always get a good steak in Oklahoma City as well.
Befitting a major city working on renewing its center, OC has a high crime rate.
There is a large number of hospitals in Oklahoma City, including the OU Medical Center.
Will Rogers World Airport provides service, along with Amtrak.
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