The 'Over the Hill Gang' 1

Norman Company the Brain and Brute Behind Barn Restoration

If you are ever in Norman, Oklahoma, your bucket list might go something like this: visit the University of Oklahoma campus, spend some time at the National Weather Museum or have lunch at the award-winning Sooner Legends BBQ.

For those who enjoy history, a trip north on old route 66 will put you in Arcadia, the site of the internationally famous round barn. This description may not have you jumping out of your seat and grabbing the kids and a road map, but the story of this unique American landmark and the Oklahoma-based company that assisted in taking on its restoration just might pique your interest.

Almost 120 years ago, William Odor had the ambitious idea to create a barn that defied common architectural practices. He wanted a structure that could withstand Oklahoma’s unpredictable weather conditions, most notably tornadoes. Mr. Odor was simply looking for utility, but thanks to the curiosity and persuasion of those around him, the barn provided so much more. The loft was converted to a dance hall, and the booming agricultural town of Arcadia gathered there for all sorts of occasions, not to mention the tens of thousands of travelers stopping by to see if the rumors of this intriguing spherical feat were true.

Over the years, the building has seen a lot. Life has happened around it. Route 66 no longer brings droves of chrome-covered family wagons past its story-filled walls. Looking at photos taken before its restoration, it seemed to be headed for a certain burial into the Oklahoma red dirt. Until 1992, no one had the resources or the expertise to revive this once thriving piece of Oklahoma culture.

Some web research will uncover the “Over-The-Hill Gang” as being the brains and the brute of this restoration project. What you might not know about is the team that continued to revitalize the structure when it needed further repairs, truly preserving its history into something the city of Arcadia and Oklahomans could take pride in once again. That team is Affordable Construction Co., a Norman-based company that has provided an array of home remodeling, construction and storm damage-repair services for 40 years.

Affordable founder and president Dan Glazier learned of a news report saying that the Round Barn again was in dire needs for repairs and they were having trouble finding a contractor due to the unique shape and expertise for a project of this magnitude.

“Since I was born and raised in Oklahoma, I love being involved with the community and preserving our historical buildings and culture as well as touching the lives of Oklahomans,” said Dan Glazier, owner and founder of Affordable Construction Co. “It was truly a pleasure to ease the stress and worry from Mr. Sam, chairman of the Arcadia Historical Society during the time we made repairs.”

It is that attitude that made Affordable Construction Co. the perfect candidate to step up on the Round Barn project. Their choice to accept the challenge was easy because of its profound impact on so many people.

Glazier and his team knew this was an ambitious undertaking, much like Odor’s during its original construction. The extent of liability and safety for the crew working on a four-story-tall structure in poor condition was apparent, but that did not stop this company. It took special care and a good eye to make sure the building was water-tight as well as pleasing to the eye. In the end, the pristine results that have come to define the company were achieved, and the most rewarding part of the project was realized: to be a part of Oklahoma history and help a nonprofit organization like the Round Barn.

Since completion, Affordable still hears of the positive wave they helped put in motion. Several new clients of Affordable have asked about the project or spoken highly of the impact it had: a proud moment for the team. Glazier even told of a customer who appreciated the company and the involvement in the community so much, their search for a new career lead them to join the Affordable family!

So next time you are in town, stop by the Round Barn on old Route 66, and experience a rich history that includes William Odor, Arcadia and Affordable Construction Co.