Bank One Drive-In

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City/Town: Oklahoma City
Location Class: Commercial
Year Built: 1978
Year Abandoned: 2004
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: Cody CooperJustin Tyler MooreMichael Schwarz

This bank was photographed in the 1960s by the famous architectural photographer Julius Shulman and has appeared in many art photography books. This wonderful structure stands empty today and is clearly suffering from deferred maintenance, but it’s such a cool structure that people need to see. Take a look at the blue tile and the amazing wavy roof! This bank could have easily been built near the beach in California. The building was designed by the firm of Wright and Selby. The architect James Wright was also listed served as a director of the Central State Bank – the original owner of the wavy drive in.

When the Central State Bank built this in 1956 (or thereabouts) there was lots of controversy over whether or not this “drive in” site was a separate branch (which would have made it subject to different rules) or just a site to make deposits. The much larger drive-thru that looked similar to the smaller wavy building and was next to the spire was dismantled a couple of years ago, leaving this smaller, secondary drive-thru abandoned and all alone. Someone who works in the building to the north of the wave has told a friend that there is still a tunnel and a set of spiral stairs from that building to the teller booths.

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Travis
Travis
1 year ago

where is this place located

Lisa Harris
5 years ago

This is one of the coolest buildings in OKC in my opinion. I hope they don't decide to rip it down but last time I was down that way, which has been a couple of years there was a feel that it won't be here long. I would LOVE to have one of those spiral staircases when the bulldozers inevitably show up. It's a shame that instead of embracing history people are intent on destroying the beautiful architecture in favor of new and cheaply build nondescript boxes.

snyderfireandrescue
snyderfireandrescue
5 years ago

Great pictures.

Gene
Gene
6 years ago

AHA! I remember where it is now, the picture with the "F***'s Sign Co" in the background brought the memory back.

Gene
Gene
6 years ago

I remember my grandmother taking me to this bank hundreds of times as a kid, I cannot for the life of me remember where it is.

Terri
Terri
7 years ago

I worked at here for about 4 years. I started out working Downtown at Central National Bank in 1973 and after a few years transferred to the Drive-In until the spring of 1980. I'm sure I worked in every stall on both sides of the street at some time or another during my time with the bank. It was pretty cool and one of the only drive-thru banks where you could reach out and touch your customers. But I have to say, those steps up into the booths were difficult to maneuver and especially when one is 8 months pregnant.

Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson
Reply to  Terri
2 years ago

Where is it located? 9182235966. Text me

Linda Evans
Linda Evans
7 years ago

I grew up in NW Oklahoma City and moved away in 1965. One of the first times my husband visited OKC in the early '70s, and we drove past the bank, my husband said "that is the fanciest car wash I've ever seen!". We lived in southern CA where they did not have drive-in banks. I love your website.
Linda

tunnelrat
tunnelrat
8 years ago

That tunnel is cool went in it last year. Tried a revisit but cops and homeless people haunt there I wouldn't advise messing around there but found a cool tunnel off sw 12th and shartel near the okc maintenance yard

MaryJane
MaryJane
8 years ago

As soon as someone wants to build something there, OKC will be there with bulldozers and tax incentives. Oh, they'll build a little monument to what they tore down, but it will still be gone. I loved driving by this bank and will miss this wonderful little drive-thrus when they are gone the next time I visit OKC.

justin
justin
11 years ago

The Prohibition Room is in the Gold Dome, 23rd and Classen.

Harley
Harley
11 years ago

A while back, I heard on the radio that a new Restaurant or Dinner Club called the "Prohibition Room" was located in the building. I drove by it the other day, and saw a sign for the "Prohibition Room", but couldn't tell if it was still in business, or if it had been shut down after a short run.

Steve Hammontree
Steve Hammontree
11 years ago

A little more history for you: This was the old Central National Bank. Probably the last family owned banks in OKC. They also owned Friendly National Bank in south OKC.

Steve Hammontree
Steve Hammontree
11 years ago

I took this place for granted. This was my bank for many years. Seeing it in your pictures really brings back some memories. I hope they don't tear it down – that's what Oklahoma City seems to do with classic architecture.

AbandonedOK Team
11 years ago

There is a staircase in each teller box that goes down to a tunnel that runs the full length and comes up in the office at the end. It's actually right downtown so I can't really call it a find. Just something that I drive by everyday and forgot it sat there.

psychosaw13
psychosaw13
11 years ago

Yeah the architecture is great! waht a great find for a drive thru to still be hanging around since ’78

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