The Gold Dome building was built on the thriving Route 66 in 1958 as the innovative Classen State Bank and is now owned by community leader Dr. Irene Lam of Bona Vision Eye Center. The historic building is the fifth geodesic dome constructed in the world, and was known for being “one of the nation’s most revolutionary bank designs”. Patented by architect and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller, geodesic designs are based upon great circles, "geodesics" lying on the surface of a sphere; they intersect to form triangular elements which will evenly distribute stress over a great span without any additional structural support.
Oklahoma City's Gold Dome was designed by the Bailey, Bozalis, Dickinson and Roloff architectural firm with Robert B. Roloff as chief designer. The unique building was a radical departure from bank designs of the past and designed to reflect Oklahoma’s prosperous and bright future.
In 2003, the building was saved from demolition by Dr. Lam. Partnering with architects Mike Kertok, Ron Rocke and Mark Gifford of Macinni Construction, their collaboration produced a facelift to the structure while preserving the former bank's golden past. The Gold Dome is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, ensuring that the landmark will be preserved for future generations.
The Gold Dome is also listed as an Oklahoma Historical Site. It is constructed of 625 gold anodized aluminum panels, ranging in size from 7.5 to 11.5 feet in length, 60 – 70 pounds in weight each, and spanning a diameter of 145 feet. The interior covers approximately 27,000 square feet, the highlight of which is the stunning interior gold dome spanning the space.
Today, the Gold Dome is an event center, business complex and multicultural hub. It is open to the public and has several meeting spaces available to hold public or private events.