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Looking back at one dynamic year

Published Dec 29, 2020
A column by our founder, David Reed

2020 is coming to a close, finally. It seems this has been a longer-than-usual year… definitely a unique and challenging year. As if a global pandemic was not enough, with social distancing, face masks, and questions of what jobs are essential and non-essential, we also had a presidential election, racial tensions, the economic shutdown, travel bans, and quarantine protocols. I hope that such a depressing downpour will never be repeated.


I’m grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to serve our customers. 2020 has been a time of great memories and challenges. It has been 11 years since I started David Reed Architecture. We were incredibly blessed when Tulsa Public Schools trusted us to design three multisport arenas approved in a May 2010 bond election. The next year, Gary Sparks, my friend, former boss, and mentor, came out of retirement to partner with me and Jill Selman in Sparks Reed Architecture and Interiors.  It has been a wonderful 10-year run together. In 2020, following an unexpected open-heart surgery in April, Gary decided to retire again. He plans to work with us on a few passion projects in the future.  We all wish him the very best and are so grateful for his rapid recovery and for the time we have been blessed to spend with him.


That is just one way our team changed. We started the year as Sparks Reed, sharing a downtown Tulsa office with our friends CJC Architects. We finish 2020 as Reed Architecture and Interiors, occupying our own downtown Sapulpa office building. So many things happened in between, it is hard to believe it came in just 12 months.

We started January with a contract to buy the new office, which is a charming old horse stable built in 1904. We closed on the deal in March, just as the world seemed to shut down. Renovating that structure became a family affair as my dad, son, and daughter looked for things to do during the suspension of schools, summer vacations, and social activities. You could say I was blessed with a captive labor pool. It was a great joy to do this buildout with my family; those are memories I will always treasure.


More change came in the growth of our team during this year. We welcomed Jennifer Bradshaw (architect), Jordan Travis (intern Architect) and Jason Haslam (architect). Each brings great enthusiasm, impressive talent, and outstanding customer service to our team.

Reed Architecture and Interiors was blessed to be a part of the Victory Christian Bible College and Youth Building project. Our team is grateful to Pastor Paul and Pastor Ashley for their vision and faith. It was a privilege to work with Daniel Henshaw and his team and LD Kerns’ team. Together, we created a facility that will touch lives for generations to come. I am proud of these people and their dedication to delivering this facility ahead of schedule and under its construction budget, all in time for Victory Conference 2020. This deserved celebration was remarkable as the church commemorated its ribbon cutting! Thank you again for allowing us to be part of it. It was an honor.

In the fall, Will Rogers High School – one of the most beautiful art deco buildings in not only Tulsa, but the world – hosted its first actual home football game in its 81-year history. To be a part of that by designing that iconic school’s first stadium… that was awesome. To then attend that first home game and see the excitement and joy on the faces of students, alumni, and faculty... that was a high point of not just 2020, but my entire career.


Those were just the start of this year’s blessings. In surviving the 2017 tornado, we had the technology in place to work from home, staying connected to each other and our servers. It was truly amazing to see how our team produced so much work under these conditions.


In 2020, we designed two basketball arenas, two football stadiums, and five churches. We were awarded the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association renovation project. We designed a new home for historic Frankoma Pottery, and we renovated a bank. Our clients have been blessed with projects that came in under their budgets: East Central Arena, Putnam City West Arena/storm shelter, Putnam City High School stadium renovations, and Tulsa Central High School stadium. 


Now that I think about it, this is miraculous during any time in history, not just 2020. I am honored to work alongside an amazing team of professionals who have overcome all sorts of challenges thrown at them.


I look forward to 2021.

David Reed
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Gary Sparks, pondering an achievement
Our team at our new home
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Victory opening celebration
The first home game at Will Rogers HS
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Our team visits Memorial HS
Be sure and turn up the sound!
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