Lawyers Rehab Building on Edge of Downtown

What has long been an abandoned eye sore on the edge of downtown Tulsa’s Central Business District may soon be one of the area’s most attractive structures thanks to three young lawyers.
Donald Smolen II, his brother Daniel Smolen and their business parter Oleg Roytman, have been friends for more than 13 years, having met while completing their undergraduate studies and law school at the University of Tulsa.
The trio formed Smolen, Smolen & Roytman, specializing in civil tort litigation and civil rights and employment law, after working less than one year for various firms around Tulsa. While looking for a new home for the 15-person firm, they found the dilapidated building at the southwest corner of Seventh Street and Cincinnati Avenue.
“We wanted to have a place where we could spend the next 30 years practicing,” Dan Smolen said.
“And not have to pay rent,” Don Smolen added.
“We also wanted to invest in something and take what was basically an eyesore and turn it into something really cool,” Dan Smolen said. “This was the perfect opportunity for us.”
The three purchased the building for $250,000, and plan to pour an additional $1 million, financed by First National Bank of Muskogee into the project before it is done, to great affect.
Plans for the building, designed by Carson Smith and Dustin Alphin of Tulsa firm Kinslow, Keith and Todd, meld the existing brick and steel structure with ultra-modern details.
One of the exterior walls has been stripped away to make room for a bank of staggered, outward-leaning windows, affording a breathtaking view of downtown.
The original concrete floor is still in place, including a small triangular seal sunken into the floor near the building’s entrance, the only sign of the previous inhabitant, but has been re-stained a dark grey.
While the exterior walls of the building will remain unfinished exposed brick, interior dividing walls will be constructed of a translucent white material, allowing light to pass through, but still providing privacy.
The space will also have a rooftop garden and private lounge equipped with a wet bar for the three owners.
Lighting for the space was specially designed by Brian Hughes of SR Hughes Lighting, 3410 S. Peoria Ave., as will be the space’s future furnishings.
“They were instrumental in selecting one-of-a-kind lighting fixtures and furnishings to help modernize an old brick building,” Dan Smolen said. “Most of the fixtures have been imported from Italy and Germany and will be placed in areas that allow the public to view and enjoy the fixtures from an exterior vantage point.”
The sleek, ultra-modern interior seems more suited for an art studio than a law firm, something that has not escaped the brothers Smolen and Roytman.
“We’re going to host some art shows and other fuctions here after hours,” Don Smolen said.
Tulsa firm Lassiter Richey, best known for their work on Center One on Brookside, is overseeing construction on the project, and has set a fast pace.
“We hope to be in here by the end of March,” Roytman said. ?′

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