The Norman Transcript

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February 25, 2013

Bob Goins truly helped to build city

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Over the years he has worked with many Oklahoma towns advising them on the development of ordinances for orderly growth and development.

“You never get a city finished,” he said.

It is little wonder that as he traveled around the state, he developed a deep interest in history, and is co-author (with John Morris) of the “Historical Atlas of Oklahoma” and similar atlases of other states.

It was while working on another book with Morris, “Oklahoma Homes: Past and Present” that he discovered his childhood wood frame home. Driving through Lexington, he recognized the home which had been moved from its location when sold to make room for the library. The home had been sold and moved while he was working in Wichita, and he didn’t know what had happened to it, “but I knew it was my old home. Sure enough, I found my name where I had put it with a punch from my dad’s shop.”

Focusing on the history of Norman, Goins designed and oversaw the development of Legacy Trail.

“We needed to clean up the area along the railroad tracks in downtown Norman,” he said. “Federal transportation money provided about 80 percent of the funding for walkways and bike paths.”

Knowing that there needed to be something of interest along those walkways, the idea for the five plazas was born. With the help of funding as an Oklahoma Centennial project, he designed five points of interest along the walkway.

“We used the plazas to tell the history of Norman,” he said. “Starting near Duffy Street, the plazas focus on Indian exploration, followed by the founding of Norman, the University, the period of the Navy presence and then the war years.”

With his help, the clock that once hung at the First National Bank on bank corner (Peters and Main) was pulled out of storage and mounted across from Sooner Theater. “We had it restored and it is again on Main Street.” Across the street from the clock is the statue of his boyhood friend, James Garner.

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