First National Great Banking Hall

Oklahoma City, OK

Originally known as the First National Bank Building upon its debut in 1931, the First National Center lies in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. Resembling the Empire State Building, it employs a neoclassical style featuring polished aluminum, granite, glass, and several varieties of marble.

The dazzling building caught the eye of Jeff Greene in 1985, when it was tragically left to decay, and he advocated for its restoration. After almost thirty years of neglect, Gary Brooks and Charlie Nicholas purchased the building and hired EverGreene to arrest its deterioration and restore it to its original glory.

EverGreene performed aqueous cleaning of stone columns, walls, and stair surrounds and treated stained areas with a poultice of cellulose material and filtered water. Dry, aqueous, and solvent cleaning methods will be used where appropriate on aluminum, steel, bronze, and brass elements such as handrails, grilles, doors, door surrounds, teller cages, mail chutes, Juliet balconies, mezzanine fascias, stair rails, drinking fountains, vault cages, and other decorative features. Then, we restored degraded and lost patina finishes on aluminum and steel features as needed, and applied a protective layer of matte lacquer finish. The decoratively painted ceilings underwent both dry and surface cleaning, as well as paint consolidation, substrate repair, the application of isolation varnish, inpainting, the application of unifying varnish, and replication. And the four murals in the Great Hall, created by Chicago artist Edgar Spier Cameron, were cleaned and restored.

The hall has been transformed into the lobby for the National Hotel, a living room for the First Apartments, and The Vault an event destination with the allure of the speakeasy.

Video of the digital recreation of the decorative paint scheme on the lobby ceiling