By the time we arrived into Oklahoma City (pics), we had logged about 2,150 miles driven so far in our road trip. Since OKC is the capital city of Oklahoma we had to visit their capitol building.
The building was completed in 1917. Interestingly, the original design included a massive dome to top it off, however, budget constraints, politics and shortage of material due to the war dictated building it without the dome. That is, until 2002. Two million pounds of brick and concrete had to be removed in order to construct the dome that was originally envisioned. The existing building was already reinforced to support the five million pound load of the dome. There are many beautiful murals in the capitol building as well as a great many paintings and other works of art featuring historical events as well as notable citizens of Oklahoma. Our self-tour also allowed us to view both the House and Senate chambers.
No visit to Oklahoma City would be complete without a visit to the site of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in which 168 people were killed. The blast was so massive that 324 buildings were destroyed or damaged within a 16 block radius. The site is now a National Memorial and Museum. A feature of the memorial is the field of empty chairs, one for each person who was killed.
The primary destination for dining and entertainment in Oklahoma City is the Bricktown district. This area was once an area of abandoned warehouses. In 1993, the city initiated the project to revitalize this area and it now draws millions of residents and visitors. It includes restaurants, bars, retail, movie theaters and the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home to the triple-A baseball team, the Oklahoma City Redhawks.
At the east end of Bricktown, you will find the Centennial Land Run Monument. This monument commemorates the great land run of 1889 when two million acres of unassigned land in Indian Territory were opened to settlement, an area that became the state of Oklahoma. Fifty thousand people participated in this race to secure a claim on their own 160 acre plot. This monument consists of 45 figures of land run participants, frozen in motion as they race to secure their homestead. The figures, which are life and one-half sized, span a total distance of 365 feet in length.
Finally, Oklahoma City is home to the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market. Since these auctions take place on Monday and we were there on a Monday, we felt compelled to check it out. This is located in an area of the city known as Stockyards City. We even went into the area where the auction was taking place. Yes, we did draw some curious looks. In the above photo you can see the fellow in the lower left checking out the tourists.