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 TULSA, Okla., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Home Depot (NYSE: HD) announced plans Tuesday to invest in Tulsa's future while preserving part of the city's past.
 Home Depot, the nation's largest home improvement retailer, announced it will preserve the art deco facade and tower of the Warehouse Market building it purchased earlier this year.
 The Atlanta-based operator of more than 231 warehouse-style home centers plans to invest approximately $10 million in the development of a store at 11th and Elgin. Home Depot plans to open the downtown store this spring along with a second store in south Tulsa.
 About $1 million to $2 million of the $10 million project will be devoted to expenses associated with the historic preservation of the art deco facade and tower, according to Stephen Lam, real estate manager for Home Depot. The facade will enclose a separate retail area to be leased to other businesses, while the Home Depot store will be built about 500 feet farther back on the property.
 City leaders and preservationists heralded Home Depot's decision to save the building's historic art deco facade and tower. Home Depot announced its plans at a reception hosted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Tuesday evening.
 "The decision by Home Depot to build in downtown Tulsa has been viewed by everyone involved as a strong endorsement of our central business district," Mayor Susan Savage said. "Now, with the announcement that the building's facade will be saved and restored, Home Depot has demonstrated that its interest in Tulsa extends beyond our strong business climate.
 "We applaud their decision to keep this important part of Tulsa's history for future generations to enjoy," Savage added.
 The Eastern Oklahoma chapter of the AIA earlier had included the building on its list of "endangered landmarks," buildings considered "vacant, vulnerable and irreplaceable."
 "Thanks to Home Depot, we are assured that the Warehouse Market will be part of Tulsa's future," said Elaine Bergman, executive director of the Eastern Oklahoma Chapter of the AIA. "Home Depot reacted with great sensitivity to the community's concern for the tower."
 Home Depot's construction plans are "an impressive demonstration of corporate developers and preservationists working together," Bergman said. "This is the most significant improvement, both visually and economically, to downtown Tulsa's eastern gateway in contemporary history," she added.
 Downtown Tulsa Unlimited President Jim Norton said the store should help stabilize the area and spur further development. A typical Home Depot draws more than one million customers per year.
 Lam said the downtown Tulsa site was selected because it is conveniently located near the retailer's target customers and because it offers "great exposure, visibility and access."
 Home Depot plans to begin construction on the 130,000-square-foot store within 30 days. The store will include a garden center and employ approximately 200 people.
 The Warehouse Market building, built in 1929, features a brilliant terra cotta facade with a center tower. Two large medallions on a blue background flank the entrance on each side. The medallions depict a goddess holding a sheaf of wheat and cornucopia and a god wearing a winged helmet with an oil derrick in one hand and a train engine in the other. The work was symbolic of the building's original purpose, a farmer's market located next to a railway and serving a city known as the "oil capital of the world."
 The farmers market's popularity and prosperity were short-lived due to the Depression. The building later housed Club Lido where Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington performed. It became the Warehouse Market in 1938 and operating as a grocery store until 1978. The building has since been used off and on and fallen into disrepair.
 "As architects, we knew that the reuse of the attached building was impractical and it should be demolished," Bergman said. "We are thrilled the significant element of the structure -- the tower and facade -- will now be preserved."
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 /CONTACT: Nell Parker of The Home Depot, 404-433-8211, ext. 5149, or Linda Percefull of Littlefield Marketing & Advertising, 918-742-7250, or, home, 918-592-6866, for The Home Depot/

CO: The Home Depot ST: Oklahoma IN: REA SU:

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993

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