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Things to do in Moore

  • Science Museum of Oklahoma Science Museum of Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    The Science Museum Oklahoma is found in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and also houses the Kirkpatrick Planetarium and domed theater that all are complemented by numerous specialized galleries. In 1958, Kirkpatrick Planetarium was opened and in 1962, moved into a permanent dome at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. Sometime later in the same year, the Oklahoma Science and Arts Foundation was started on the grounds, and in 1978, its name was changed to the Omniplex Science Museum. The new museum would later move with the Kirkpatrick Planetarium to the newly created Kirkpatrick Center museum campus. In 1980, the Oklahoma Air and Space Museum was added to the ever growing group, and the Kirkpatrick Gardens and Greenhouse were added in 1985. The state's first big-format, dome-screen theater, the Omnidome Theater was opened there in 1998, and in 2007, the Omniplex would change its name to the Science Museum Oklahoma to reflect its wonderful diversity. Since the rebranding, the museum has enjoyed a thorough remodeling and addition of more marvelous venues like the kid-friendly space exhibit, many new galleries and displays, as well as three new art galleries.  The Kirkpatrick Air and Space Museum preserves and promotes the contributions of the many Oklahomans to the aerospace industry, with highlighted relics like the Apollo Command Module simulator, relics that pertain to the Oklahoman aviator Wiley Post and an Apollo Lunar Module copy that was constructed by Canadian inventor, William Lishman. Numerous artifacts have been on loan to the Oklahoma History Center that opened in November 2005. Inside the museum, the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame has been located, on the second floor with many new displays that contain images and biographies of the people being inducted into the hall of fame. The main display contains numerous historical exhibits that include full-scale models of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules plus the authentic Apollo Command Module simulator that was used to train the Apollo astronauts. In the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum, there are many tributes to the art and technology of photography, and is where the world's biggest photo-mural hangs and it is a laserscape of the Grand Canyon. There are many prints and original Kodak camera equipment. Another great venue is the Red Earth Museum that contains the Native American lifestyles and cultures that include a large collection of cradleboards from many tribes across the nation; although it is supposed to be moving in 2010 to the Red Earth Museum and offices in downtown Oklahoma City. The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame is also located in the museum's building and highlights many awards, apparatus, library, medals and numerous pieces of sculpture. This organization is devoted to the sport of gymnastics and inductees include; Bart Conner, Mary Lou Retton, Nadia Comaneci, Vera Caslavska, Olga Korbut, Valer Liukin, Nikolai Andreianov and Larisa Latynina. 

  • National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
    The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with over 28,000 American Indian and Western artworks and relics. The museum contains the most expansive collection in the world of American rodeo, saddlery, early rodeo trophies, photographs and barbed wire. The museum focuses on preserving and interpreting the wonderful heritage of the west, often becoming an art gallery, during the yearly Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale every June. These artists sell original artworks to raise money for the museum. In 1955, the museum opened, from an idea by Chester A. Reynolds, to show honor to the cowboy and their period, then later the same year, the name was changed to its present name, and in 1960, the name was changed again to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. In 2000, the museum was accredited and the name changed to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage museum. To continue the memory of Chester, the museum gives a grant every year called the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award and it is given to the person or institution that contributes to the preservation of the museum's theme, American west history and heritage. The museum contains over 200,000 square feet of exhibit space and includes more than 2000 works of western art, the William S. and Ann Atherton Art of the American West Gallery. Another 15,000 square foot space contains portraits, colorful still lifes and sculptures from the 19th and 20th century artists and landscapes. There are more than 200 works by Charles Marion Russell, Charles Schreyvogel, Frederic Remington, Albert Bierstadt, Thurmond Restuettenhall, Solon Borglum and Robert Lougheed. This collection contains more than 700 pieces by Edward S. Curtis and 350 plus from Joe DeYong. The historical galleries do include the American Cowboy Gallery, which looks at the life and traditions of a working cowboy and ranching history; the American Rodeo Gallery that is fashioned after a 1950s rodeo arena, that looks at this country's native sport, the Native American Gallery showcases the embellishments that the western tribes created on their everyday items that would reflect their personal beliefs and histories; the Joe Grandee Museum of the Frontier West Gallery, and displays many of the over 4500 relics that belonged to the western artist Joe Grandee and the Weitzenhoffer Gallery of Fine American Firearms that contains more than 100 examples of weapons that were made by Sharps, Winchester, Colt, Marlin, Remington, Parker Brothers and Smith & Wesson that were used to tame the wild west.

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 7100 Terminal Dr.
 
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  • Oklahoma City Museum of ArtOklahoma City Museum of Art Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    The Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OCMOA) is housed in the Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and showcases changing exhibits, a restaurant, original selections from it collection and theater that shows many types of films, foreign and domestic and classic films. It is home to the most complete collection of Chihuly glass in the world that includes the 55 foot Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower in the museum's atrium. Their collection of American art contains paintings and sculptures by artists from the colonial period to the 1960s, and highlight works by Charles Wilson Peale, Georgia O'Keefe, Hans Hofmann and Thomas Moran. There is also 28 works that were donated by the Works Progress Administration in 1942, the gift that became the nucleus for the original Oklahoma Art Center; as well as many examples by artists that were still active in the state; Doel Reed, Nan Sheets, Oscar Brousse Jacobson, and Nellie Shepard, with many post war artists like Jack Levine, Moses Soyer and Isabel Bishop. Other artists works' include; Martin Johnson Meade, George Wesley Bellows, George Inness, Hans Hofmann; Martin Johnson Heade, Morris Louis, David Smith and Thomas Moran.  The European art collection contains works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Andre Derain, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Gustave Courbet and Francis Hayman. Other collections include the post war & contemporary works collection, photography, drawings and prints and the Dale Chihuly glass collection.

  •  State CapitolOklahoma State Capitol Oklahoma City, OKlahoma
    The Oklahoma State Capitol houses the state legislature, the meeting places of the state Supreme Court and the seat of the government. The large dome was just finished in 2002, and the structure is listed on the National Historic Landmarks. The state capitol campus is well known for the oil wells that sit on it, and is the only state capitol that has active oil rigs running on the capitol's grounds. The capitol building itself sits right atop the Oklahoma City Oil Field, and along with many other unique features brings many tourists here year. The state's original capitol was Guthrie, which is now a northern suburb of the city, and it was hear that the cannons blasted the beginning of the Oklahoma Land run in 1889, and in just 6 hours, almost 10,000 people had arrived to settle the area that would someday become the capitol of the new territory. In just a few months, Guthrie had become a modern haven, complete with electricity, municipal water, underground parking for horses and carriages, and mass transit system. Without any kind of protection, the state's new government would become part of the political battle that shaped up on the question of the capital, until 1910, in the middle of the night, the state seal was taken and moved south to where it sit now, in Oklahoma City and the current site of the capitol. Originally, the capitol building was to be constructed in the Warr Acres suburb some miles away from downtown, but after three years of indecisiveness, it was built only two miles from downtown. Construction began in 1914, and finished by 1919 with more than 400,000 square feet located on six floors. Those plans called for a dome to be installed, like most state capitols, but there weren't enough funds to complete it at the time and a shortage of building materials because of WWI. In the 1990s, plans were again brought up to construct the dome, and a finish date was set to coincide with the state's centennial projects master plan. The dome was to sit 225 feet high with a 17 foot bronze Native American statue on top in honor of the state's Native American heritage. Master artist, Enoch Kelly Haney, a former state senator and later chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma made the Guardian statue that tops the great dome and designed by Frankfurt-Short-Bruza.

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Local Restaurants in Moore
  • Dan McGuinness
    Starters; fried pickles is thick slices of dill pickles dipped in house harp beer batter & fried with ranch dressing; Guinness boiled shrimp is shrimp boiled in beer, served chilled with cocktail; Scotch eggs is two hard-boiled eggs wrapped in seasoned sausage then fried, served with Dijon mustard sauce; McGuiness cheese fries is steak fries loaded with cheddar cheese & bacon bits, with house made ranch dressing; sausage n batter is cubed mozzarella & cheddar cheeses skewered with Irish sausage dipped in beer batter fried, served with rosemary tomato sauce and golden BBQ; Celtic queso dip; stuffed mushrooms is large mushrooms stuffed with herb cheese, batter dipped & fried; buffalo chicken skewers is skewered chicken tenders coated in spicy buffalo sauce served with bleu cheese dressing; sausage n cheese board is grilled sausage with cheddar & mozzarella cheese cubes, pickle spears, crackers & honey mustard sauce. Soups & Salads; potato soup is thick creamy soup loaded with potato chunks & topped with cheddar cheese & bacon; beer cheese soup is onions, celery & carrots in velvety cheese soup with hint of Harp lager; pub salad is mixed greens topped with egg, tomato, bacon bits, cheddar cheese & potato sticks; Caesar salad; steak salad is grilled prime rib served over mixed greens with sliced egg, diced tomato, feta cheese, sundried cranberries & potato sticks. Fish; fish n chips is Atlantic cod dipped in Harp larger batter, with fries, cole slaw & lemon dill tartar sauce; herb grilled salmon is thick salmon filet seasoned & grilled with choice of two sides; mahi mahi is filet lightly seasoned & topped with skewer of grilled shrimp served two sides and garlic bread. Beef/Chicken; chicken n chips is fried chicken tenders over fries with sweet n golden BBQ sauce; beef n Guinness is seasoned sirloin beef tips marinated & cooked in Guinness stout rich gravy served in mashed potato bowl with choice of two sides; 16oz roasted prime rib served with choice of two sides & garlic bread; Blarney chicken pasta is linguine noodles covered in Alfredo sauce with grilled chicken, mushrooms & sundried tomatoes.

  • Cattlemen's Restaurant
    Appetizers & Soups; lamb fries, charbroiled shrimp, onion rings, shrimp cocktail, potato skins with jack & cheddar cheese, bacon bits with sour cream. Entrees; include homemade rolls & cattlemen's salad; lamb fries with baked potato; Hawaiian chicken breast basted with special Polynesian sauce, over rice pilaf; fried catfish is hand breaded with light corn meal, served with housemade tartar sauce & baked potato; fried shrimp is deep fried & served with tangy cocktail sauce & baked potato; broiled salmon is Norwegian salmon lightly seasoned & charbroiled with choice of rice or bake potato. Steaks; T-bone steak; cattlemen's strip sirloin; top club is extra thick from aged beef; filet mignon bacon wrapped & broiled; rib eye steak center cut; small filet wrapped in thick bacon; dinner steak is small top sirloin; chopped sirloin broiled; pepper steak is small sirloin with peppercorn sauce; ham steak with red-eye gravy, full slice with bone-in; Cattlemen's chicken fried steak; all steaks include cattlemen's salad, baked potato & homemade rolls.

 

 

 

Herb Grilled Salmon Dan McGuiness Moore, Oklahoma

 

Sirloin Tips Dan McGuinness Moore, Oklahoma

 

 

 Fried Catfish Cattlemen's Restaurant Moore, Oklahoma



Pepper Steak Cattlemen's Restaurant Moore, Oklahoma

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  • Oklahoma Zoo Oklahoma Zoo Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    The famous Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is found in the Adventure District of northeast Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and sits on 110 acres that is home to over 1700 animals and opened almost every day of the year. Their exhibits include; the Oklahoma trails with a new section just opened in 2007, and sits on 7.7 acres highlighting the animals that are native to the state that includes; beavers, bison, black bears, snakes, alligators and others with a walk-in bird display and barn housing owls, bats and skunks. Another is the cat forest/lion overlook that sits on 4.2 acres and has nine species of wild cats that include; snow leopards, tigers and lions, oh my! with 4000 plants of native habitats; the butterfly garden that is 21,000 square feet with many beautiful and exotic butterflies that include; eastern black swallowtail, monarch, painted lady and giant swallowtail all flying around 15,000 plants. Another exhibit includes the island life that have representative species from all around the world and contain such magnificent species like Caribbean flamingoes, Galapagos tortoises, San Estaban island chuckwalla lizards, and Abaco Island boas, plus a herpetarium with more than 80 exhibits in there. The great escape sits on 6 acres and contains 18 animals with two groups of gorillas, chimpanzees and a family of orangutans in tropical rainforest environments. The zoo opened the children's zoo in March of 2010, where the little folk can touch and see the many unusual barnyard animals that live in the barnyard. Splash in the Waterway is a marvelous area with a waterfall and flamingoes doing their thing and a koi pond. My Secret Forest is a natural play area and you can go to the underground area to see all the creatures that live below the surface and thrive in their own little village. There are many educational shows featured at Grandma's porch and a walk through with lorikeets. There are spider and squirrel monkeys, a carousel, climbing wall, two small trains, safari tram, sea lion show and swan paddleboats.

  • Oklahoma History Center
    The Oklahoma History Center for the state of Oklahoma is located across the street from the governor's mansion in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and opened in 2005; run by the state's historical society. It preserves the history of the state from its prehistoric Native American tribes to the present day. The Inasmuch Foundation Gallery is found on the south end of the first floor and this gallery explores the length of the state's artistic achievements and the impact of such a diverse immigrant population. Visitors will be able to explore a large range of subjects that include the entertainment value of a land of cowboys and Indians, dramatic and unifying impact sports and sporting events influence on the communities, and the pioneering innovations that have occurred in broadcasting. The various sections include; wild west shows, culture and the arts, vacuum tubes, images of the state, radio and TV, sports, cultural diversity and voice. This gallery also houses rotating displays about the arts and cultural diversity. The ONEOK gallery is on the north end of the first floor and represents every one of the 39 American Indian tribes that are presently affiliated with the state, and offers visitors the chance to explore the glorious historic past of the native peoples of the state and the contemporary Indian cultures. Topics include; Indian lives, sovereignty, tribes, dwellings, spirituality, origins and languages. In the Kerr-McGee Gallery, found on the south end of the third floor, you'll find a gallery with a wealth of information about the state's history from the oil and gas exploration to the military contributions since the first exploration by the Spanish during the 16th century. There is a 1830s riverboat that was just excavated from the Red River, a 3D reconstruction of an oil derrick and examples of the state's entrepreneurial history. The section also includes; business, transportation, military matters, oil and gas industry, African American experience, natural resources and people and pathways.  The Noble Foundation gallery is sitting in the north end of the third floor and contains a extraordinary amount of information about the land run and lotteries that brought hordes of people from all over to stake their claim on some great American land. It also includes; urban frontiers, education, weather, farming and ranching, kitchens, the Dust Bowl, law and order, fashions, government and politics. There are two special exhibits that include the Rock & Roll exhibit and the Tierra de mi Familia.

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  • Overholser MansionOverholser Mansion Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Henry Overholser was an Oklahoma businessman, county commissioner and vital to the development of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, building the first two-story structures in the city, both torn down in 1907, and his son, Edward, became a mayor of the city. He was born in 1846 in Ohio, the son of John and Elizabeth Overholser, and one of 13 children. He would marry Emma Hanna Overholser in 1869, and she gave birth to Edward in Sullivan, Indiana and another child would come later. Henry worked in the mercantile business in Sullivan for 13 years and began investing in numerous real estate and building enterprises in Colorado and Ashland, Wisconsin before finally moving to the Oklahoma territory. Henry had become a wealthy man long before he moved to the Oklahoma territory in 1889 and he quickly bought lots, creating business structures and making capital improvements, using his own money to build what one day would become, Oklahoma City. In October of that year, he would marry Anna lone Murphy and his brother, Levi and nephew, Will lived in one of his buildings on West Grand in 1889. Henry ran for mayor of the fledgling city, twice, and lost, but was able to succeed in being the county commissioner for the city. He constructed the Overholser Opera House on Grand Avenue in 1903 for $108,000 and then the Overholser Theater. He helped the chamber of commerce buy land before the city became part of the new state in 1906, that would be used for the State Fair of Oklahoma. In 1903, he constructed this magnificent mansion, with 20 rooms, the brick and sandstone Victorian mansion is in Heritage Hills and after his passing, passed through many members of the family before being transferred to David Perry, the husband of Overholser's daughter, who passed on in the 1970s; then finally donated to the state for public tours showcasing the wonderful style of living that some of the wealthy enjoyed in that period of the state's history.

  • Martin Park Nature Center
    The Martin Park Nature Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is a wildlife sanctuary, recreational area and educational facility that offers guided nature hikes, special weekend guided tours and more to the community at large. There are many animals that make their home here, like the butterflies, deer, birds and squirrels. The park is open every week of the year, except for the week between Christmas and New Year's and has a hands-on museum and browsing library. Taking special care and being very quiet will allow you to see coyotes, deer, owls or armadillos, if you are constantly on the look out for these wonderful critters. Just outside the nature center, there is a marvelous 3.5 mile hiking trail that meanders through the woods and grasslands with a graveled road for wheel chair bound visitors. Other trails offer either gravel or packed soil and do have some moderate areas of slopes and sometimes, steps. The outdoor Native American pottery class is full as of now, but in August, you can take a wonderful eco trip on the park's Spring Creek, as you wade in the shallow waters investigating the life that lives here. In September, the annual Harvest Hike is held before the blasts of cold winter set in and keep in inside more than out. There are many such excellent programs for children of all ages, and their parents as well, helping to bond the family together in the rich and diverse environment that allows all of us to learn more about our world together. It was named one of the 10 best parks and playgrounds in the National Geographic Best of Everything for Families: An Ultimate Guide for Families article.

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 6501 Guy Fuller Rd.

  • State Museum of HistoryState Museum of History Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    The State Museum of History in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma sits on 18 acres of marvelous land and contains a 215,000 square foot learning center devoted to exploring the state's history of transportation, aviation, culture, commerce, geology and heritage with 200 hands-on audio, video and computer interactive exhibits. There are over 50 Smithsonian quality exhibits with more than 2000 relics, as well as a place for food and drink. Winnie Mae Cafe is located on the third floor of the museum's building where you can always find some refreshments and relief. On the exterior of the museum, the Red River Journey takes you on a 1.4 mile walking tour of the Red River Valley that offers visitors interesting vegetation, landforms and historical locations; as well as a working derrick as part of the outdoor oilfield exhibit. It has many other derricks as well, portable derricks, drilling derricks and other machines that pertain to the oil field exploration in the state. The museum has five main galleries; E. L. and Thelma Gaylord, ONEOK, Inasmuch, Kerr-McGee and Noble Foundation with numerous other areas that are very interesting but don't have exhibits, but rather galleries to showcase their artifacts and information. The Devon Great Hall has a replicated Winnie Mae airplane, and the C. A. Vose Sr. Wing has the Gemini 6 space capsule and other state related space relics and information. The West Family Wing exhibits the Oklahoma family tree display and the Pioneers in Oklahoma Journalism.

  • Harn Homestead
    The Harn Homestead in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is a state gem that honors the territorial history of the state, by offering a hands-on and minds-on experience that includes a one-room schoolhouse, a territorial farm, the elegance of a Victorian house and the waste-not, want-not attitude of the early settlers of this country. Something we all need to remember and put to good use, because for too long a time, we have used our natural resources like there is no tomorrow, especially for our children and grandchildren. This special place in Oklahoma has captured the essence of early territorial life that can only help visitors today understand the feelings and lifestyles of those men, women and children that helped settle this state and the entire country. The farm's history spans more than a century, beginning after the land run that was held in the Oklahoma territory of 1889. There were so many land disputes that President Benjamin Harrison picked Mr. William Fremont Harn to come here as a special land commissioner to settle those disputes. William and his wife, Alice, came to the territory and purchased 160 acres that now contains the William Fremont Harn Gardens, Inc. and was the Harn Homestead in the 19th century. By using his expertise as a claims adjuster, William came to know the value of land and soon was becoming one of the first developers of the city. He bought land that is now near downtown Oklahoma City, and was even involved in numerous neighborhoods being started. The best known is Harndale, which has grown into Heritage Hills and contains some of the oldest houses that were constructed here with many being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. William was considered a generous man, and donated 40 acres to the state so that the capitol could be relocated here from Guthrie, with his neighbor, Mr. Culbertson doing the same; and the state capitol now sits on the land that these gentlemen gave. The Harns would live in a one-room house, until Mrs. Harn decided she wanted to return to Ohio where her family lived, but William promised he would build her any house from the National Builders Supplement Catalogue, a Sears & Roebuck company, if she would only stay. She decided on a Victorian, Queen Anne style house, with a small offset porch and half-octagon parlor and bedroom upstairs; and William ordered it for a Christmas present. The house materials were crated in Chicago and after arriving by train, took men six weeks to erect in 1904. The Harns didn't have any children, so they invited Alice's niece, Florence Wilson to come and stay. Alice passed on in 1931, and then William in 1944, so Florence inherited the property and she lived there until 1967, when she deeded it to the city. It became a museum in 1986, and brought many visitors a wonderful time teaching them about the history and lifestyles of the early settlements.

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  • Governor's MansionGovernor's Mansion Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    The Oklahoma governor's mansion is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and the present governor, Brad Henry, has been living there since he took office in 2003. After the state was admitted to the union in 1907, the legislature concentrated on starting the state capitol, but not the governor's residence, until 1919, when the capitol building was completed. The site had been chosen in 1914, just east of the capitol building. The site stayed a grassy knoll for more than 10 years, while the legislature debated about the funds necessary for the structure, until 1927, when the state was in the midst of an oil boom and $100,000 was allocated for the mansion. Out of that original amount, only $75,000 was spent on the construction and the remainder spent on furniture and furnishings. In 1929, the legislature had to spend another $39,000 on the landscaping and outbuildings, finally being completed in 1928, in a Dutch-colonial style. Carthage limestone was used on the exterior to complement the capitol building, and with 19 rooms, the 14,000 square foot mansion was later reduced to 12, with 5 bedrooms, library, kitchen, parlor, sun room, dining room and grand ballroom. Henry S. Johnston was the first governor to live there, but he was then impeached and lived there for only three months and William H. Murray would come to the mansion and become the first full term governor to live in the marvelous mansion. Murray was the governor when the Great Depression arrived, and wanting to help the poorer hungry Oklahomans, he brought a team of mules to the property and began to plow a big part of the landscape; himself, and transformed the grounds into a huge vegetable garden where the poor could start their own vegetable gardens. Because of his colorful personality, an urban legend has cropped up, saying that Murray still continues to walk the grounds today, making sure his constituents are taken care off. E. W. Marland became the governor in 1935, and they discovered oil on the property, and the legislature took full advantage of that and built a oil well on the mansion grounds that was there until the end of the 1940s. A temporary helicopter pad was installed on the grounds in the 1960s to welcome President Lyndon B. Johnson in his helicopter. After Johnson's visit, the concrete pad was converted to a tennis court, and in the 1970s, the citizens of Oklahoma raised enough money to install a swimming pool in the shape of the state. During 1995, when Frank Keating was the governor, the mansion would enjoy a huge restoration, and the governor asked Oklahomans to help with the restoration, and many did come. The Friends of the Governors Mansion, Inc. was formed to help with raising the money. A lot of structural work had to be done to bring the kitchen up to standards for preparing state dinners, although the magnificent red and black granite countertops that were made in Granite, Oklahoma in the early 1990s were kept. The library's walnut paneling and moldings were brought back to their original condition and the room's 1928 color-scheme of burgundy, green and gold as well. The ballroom's original maple wood floors had a Persian rug added, with the moldings, windows and chandeliers being recreated to match the originals that were installed in 1928.

  • American Banjo MuseumAmerican Banjo Museum Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    The American Banjo Museum is another hidden treasure in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, sitting in a $5million, world class 21,000 square foot structure that celebrates the marvelous rich history of the dynamic spirit and limitless future of the banjo. The museum houses over 300 instruments, which is the biggest public exhibit of banjos in the world, with outstanding examples that include copies of the primitive banjos that were developed by the African slaves in the old south, the nucleus collection of elaborately decorated banjos made in American during the jazz age of the 1920s and 1930s, minstrel age instruments originating from the 19th century and post WWII instruments used in folk, bluegrass and world music. The museum was initially located in Guthrie, and started as a nonprofit in 1998 by Midwest City lawyer, Brady Hunt and Indiana industrialist, Jack Canine; using the name The National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame Museum. Jack, a retired Indiana industrialist, was also a banjo player and enthusiast, said the saving and promoting the history of the banjo, America's adopted native musical instrument, is an important mission for future generations, so that they too, can enjoy the magnificent sounds that banjos can make. The museum was started by and for banjo enthusiasts and players of the four-string banjo, the main stringed instrument that is and was part of the jazz age of the 1920s and 1930s. The museum's director, Johnny Baier stated that the banjo, in various forms and styles, has been evolving for more than 350 years, and the museum is committed to presenting all the chapters of the banjo story; beginning with its roots in American slavery to the most current identities in bluegrass and international folk music. The banjo was first introduced to this country by the African slave culture in the mid 17th century, and stayed exclusively with the black culture for almost two centuries. There are some early replicas of these instruments exhibited when visitors come into the museum, and as they peruse the beautiful collections, visitors can see many various examples of banjos that were constructed during the late 19th century, during the minstrel age of music when the banjo was elevated to the stage and concert hall, from the plantations; and gained instant public appeal and interest. The name Gibson is synonymous with quality banjos, and a special gallery is located in the museum that spotlights a huge collection of Gibson Mastertone banjos that were manufactured during the company's golden years of the 1920s and 1930s, including a very rare, pre-war Gibson five-string banjo that is worth more than $175,000. The second floor contains the museum's showpiece collection that contains over 200 four-string banjos that are from the jazz age of banjo music. These fabulous instruments are in pristine condition, with elaborate designs and tonal sound qualities that have been almost frozen in time and space. Every banjo in the outstanding collection is virtually a work of art, showcasing the craftsmanship, dedication and ingenuity of the master crafters who created these spectacular masterpieces almost a century ago. This collection, the only one of its kind in the world, is certainly considered a national treasure, and once you visit, you'll understand the love and attention that has been created here.

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May 11, 2011