Miami, Oklahoma

In 1987 the City of Miami contacted Gary Sparks to see if he would look at a building the city owned.  Gary met with city officials and a few local citizens to evaluate the possibility of restoring a historic theater that had been neglected for many years.  The Coleman Theatre, built in the 1920s, was unusable.  It was an eyesore located on Route 66 in downtown. The city wanted to tear it down, while this small group of citizens wanted to know if there was any way it could be restored to its original state.  


After a thorough review of the building, Sparks told them that, since it was the most significant building architecturally in the city and located on Route 66, every effort should be made to restore it.  Gary advised them it would be very expensive, and if they had to phase it, he would develop a list of things that had to be done and a priority for doing them.  Gary worked with this small group known as “Friends of the Coleman” for the next 15 years, putting this beautiful building back together.  The Coleman Theatre is now on the National Register of Historic Places.  

 Lead by Gary Sparks

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