Historic building in Altus being turned into event center

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 10:48 AM CST
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ALTUS, Okla. (KSWO) - A 120-year-old building in downtown Altus is being renovated and turned into an event center.

The building was built in 1901 and was originally Russell’s Department Store. Since then, it’s changed a few times to other department stores and was most recently a furniture store.

But, it’s now being turned into an event center called Hudson Hall, with the owners trying to take the building’s design back to what it was when it was first built over 120 years ago.

The plan is to take the building back to its roots, tearing away the tin to uncover it’s original glory but renovating it with a modern flair.

“You definitely run into hiccups along the way, this building is extremely old, we aren’t 100 percent sure what we’re getting into every time we tear down a wall or expose something,” Hudson Hall co-owner Sidney Tyner said. It’s definitely been interesting to start the process and work through the kinks as we go.”

“It is very neat to see the treasures of everything and how it was built and the craftsmanship of these old buildings,” co-owner Emily Worrell said. “You just don’t find that anymore.”

Once the renovations are finished, they hope Hudson Hall becomes a multipurpose event center.

“The main room downstairs will be your grand ballroom, you can rent it for weddings, parties, corporate meetings, anything you would need a large scale event center for,” Tyner said. “In the back, we’re putting in a full commercial kitchen. That makes it easier for catering but also we’re able to provide classes back there as well.”

They hope those renovations will be done this summer, giving Altus residents something they currently don’t have.

“Whenever I was getting married a few years ago it was hard because we couldn’t find a place we wanted that could fit the people we wanted there,” Tyner said. “This was something that I think is going to be extremely beneficial and I love that it’s downtown in the heart of downtown.”

“It’s also a space where you don’t have to use all of the square footage,” Worrell said. “We can break it up, we’ve got different areas of the building you can use separately.”

And, they believe it makes downtown Altus even more unique.

“We are so invested in our downtown community,” Worrell said. “Not very many downtowns I feel like would have a space like this that can offer so much for not just our business, but for all of the surrounding businesses.”

Once the renovations of the first floor are complete, the owners plan on renovating the upstairs portion of the building to allow for even more space for events, but expect it to be a few years before that project is complete.

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