Oklahoma Museum of Pop Culture Unveils Design Rendering

Oklahoma Historical Society officials recently unveiled the rendering of the Oklahoma Museum of Pop Culture (OKPOP) which is set to break ground in the fall of 2018.

Oklahoma Museum of Pop Culture (OKPOP) Photo: Oklahoma Historical Society

Tulsa-based Lilly Architects and Overland Partners of San Antonio, Texas designed the facility that was revealed at the historic Cain's Ballroom by Tulsa’s own Mary Kay Place.

Nabholz Construction will construct OKPOP at 422 North Main Street in Tulsa, across the street from the Cain’s Ballroom, home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Tulsan David Sharp and Interak Corporation donated the quarter block of land for the OKPOP site, estimated to be valued at $1 million.

“Grit and glitz is a term the team coined to describe the overall feel of the project,” said Chris Lilly, principal of Lilly Architects. “With one cultural foot on Route 66 and the other on Main Street, OKPOP will highlight the journeyman’s struggle and the thrill of making it big – the grit and the glitz inherent to the life of Oklahoma’s creatives.”

The design team found inspiration in a gold Fender Stratocaster custom made for Bob Wills’ guitarist Eldon Shamblin. The guitar encouraged the project’s gold color palette. The structure was designed to house a living experience that includes event venues, stages and retail space.

“The architectural design of OKPOP is inspired by the idea that Oklahoma creativity has flourished in the state because of a collision of cultures that resulted in a mixing of artistic styles, creating a rich storytelling tradition,” said OKPOP Executive Director Jeffrey Moore. “This creativity that sprung from barn dances and camp meetings in the country or the dance halls and movie theaters on Main Street spread to the rest of the world on the 'Will Rogers Highway' otherwise known as Route 66. Lilly Architects and Overland Partners captured this idea beautifully.”

Nabholz Corporation will break ground on constructing OKPOP in the fall of 2018.

“We are anxious to begin our work and bring the vision of OKPOP to life,” said Shane Fernandez, president of Southwest Operations for Nabholz. “Like so many of our projects, we are building this museum to stand the test of time and remain culturally relevant for decades of visitors.”

OKPOP is dedicated to telling the story of the creativity of Oklahoma’s people and their influence on popular culture around the world. The OKPOP staff is actively collecting artifacts, photographs, archival materials, film, video and audio recordings that represent Oklahoma’s creative history.

Some of the famous Oklahomans OKPOP will feature include Will Rogers, Bob Wills, Joan Crawford, Gene Autry, Leon Russell, Reba McEntire, S. E. Hinton, Garth Brooks, Wes Studi, Alfre Woodard, James Marsden, Carrie Underwood, Mickey Mantle, Kristin Chenoweth, James Garner, Tobey Keith, Blake Shelton, Bill Hader, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Vince Gill, among countless others.

About Oklahoma Historical Society

 The OKPOP is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, whose mission is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state. Founded in 1893, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state.

About Nabholz Construction

 Founded in 1949, Nabholz offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and 12 additional locations. Nabholz core competencies include: Construction Management, Industrial, Civil, Environmental and Specialty Services. Ranked #121 on Engineering News-Records list of the Top 400 Contractors in the nation, Nabholz serves clients throughout the U.S.