Notes on the Geography of Oklahoma: Norman 3: Post-war Downtown: Photo 1
Despite the two naval air stations built courtesy of World War II, downtown never grew very imposing, largely because interurban railroad service was so convenient that Normanites thought nothing of shopping 20 miles up the line in Oklahoma City. Worse news came in the 1950s, when Interstate 35 was built some two miles west of the railroad station. Shopping migrated toward the freeway, and Main Street went into what seemed like a terminal decline, minimally impeded by the construction in 1965 of the 6-story office building, shown here in the distance. The Vista Building's name made sense, because the building was high enough to see the horizon in every direction, especially from the restaurant that operated for many years on the top floor. The photo dates from about 1990.
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