Housed inside the former Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant, the new 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City opened in June and it’s already revved up some excitement around the city’s downtown. Craig Greenberg, president of 21c Museum Hotels, gives us his take on how the 135-room boutique hotel, which has more than 14,000 square feet of meeting space, is a catalyst for improving downtown.
Why did you elect to open a 21c in OKC’s Ford Assembly Plant?
Fred Jones, the grandfather of our partners (the Hall family) in Oklahoma City, was among the first employees to punch the clock at the Oklahoma City Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant when it opened in 1916. People throughout Oklahoma City and beyond have deep connections to the building and to the family. The Hall family saw that the building needed new life and shared our appreciation for contemporary art, so the 21c was a natural fit for this incredible building.
How is 21c set to revitalize the downtown area?
In 1916, the area where the 21c sits today was a thriving film exchange. Over the years, development elsewhere left the west end of downtown behind. The announcement of 21c spurred new development in the area, including a music venue [Tower Theatre] and residential and commercial properties. In addition to providing a great restaurant and hotel rooms, 21c offers a free contemporary art museum to the public, as well as art and cultural programming. We seek to be a cultural arts center for the local community, in addition to being a hotel.