Quirky OKC

With a tip of the hat to the good folks at roadsideamerica.com we present a look at the roadside attractions of Oklahoma City.

Big Toothbrush and Toothpaste 3616 NW 50th St

This site contains a colorful toothbrush, about 12 feet high. Alongside the brush is a partially-used tube of toothpaste about 6 feet long. The brush and tube appear to be made from metal. Not sure what the brush bristles are but they look like fiber optic cables.

Did you know: The first bristle toothbrush was found in China around 619BC, it featured hog bristles attached to bamboo or bone.  Dr. Washington Sheffield created the collapsible toothpaste tube for his “Creme Angelique” which was the first trademarked toothpaste in 1881.

Vince Gill Statue 2801 Northwest 27th St.

Vince Gill attended NW Classen High School and grew up in the area. The 9 ½ foot tall statue was unveiled on October 29, 2014. Sculptor Jack Nortz modeled the singer with his 1952 Fender Telecaster.  Vince Gill was one of my mom’s favorite singers.  She and my dad saw him a number of times.  Years ago, my dad flew my sister and her husband, along with me, to surprise mom at a Vince Gill concert in St. Louis.  I only recognized two songs.  But the guy is an entertainer and I thoroughly enjoyed the show.

Miss America Statue NW 23rd St. and N. Blackwelder Ave

Oklahoma City University has produced three Miss America winners and they are commemorated with these statues.

At the center of the plaza is the “Three Miss Americas”, a bronze sculpture depicting the three Miss Americas: Jane Jayroe (1967), Susan Powell (1981), and Shawntel Smith (1996).  The sculptor was Shan Gray who died September 19, 2021 at the age of 65.

In 2004 the university created a plaza, that highlights some of the school’s most famous alumni like Tony award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth.

Side Note: Kristin spent a summer at Wichita Music Theater.

Milk Bottle Building 2426 N. Classen Blvd.

Constructed in 1930, the 350-square foot triangular red brick building sits at an old streetcar stop along Route 66. The Milk Bottle was built with sheet metal around 1948.  The Milk Bottle Grocery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.  

Old Gold Dome 1112 NW 23rd St

Another icon of Route 66.  This geodesic dome was built in 1958.  Designed by Buckminster Fuller, it was originally built as a bank.  The dome has 625 panels weighing 60-70 pounds a piece.  The building’s owners wanted to demolish it in 2001, but a group organized and convinced the owner to save the building.  The property was bought in 2015 and its owners converted it into a Natural Grocery Store in 2016.  The building is now under development to turn it into a concert venue. 

Architectural DNA Artpiece 121 NW 10th st.

This is such a cool, weird attraction. A real spiral staircase hangs between a building and the parking garage. The sculpture, “Architectural DNA,”  was salvaged from the Marion Hotel, and in 2014 the stairs were raised to become this art piece.  The stairs were part of the fire escape on the hotel across the street which is now an apartment building. That building is one of the few buildings still standing that was constructed before Oklahoma became a state.

Father of Modern Dentistry Statue 317 NE 13th St

Pierre Fauchard was a dental surgeon in France and he wrote a manual on dentistry. He is considered by many to be the Father of Modern Denistry.

The sculpture stands in front of the Oklahoma Dental Association.  The rumor is that the bronze statue was sculpted by a dentist.

Side Note: There’s another “Father of Modern Dentistry” statue in Chicago, of a different dentist.

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