Known as the first shopping center in Oklahoma City, the Paseo was designed by G.W. Nichols as a place for residents in the surrounding areas to have access to certain shops. Nichols was a cousin of the designer of the Plaza in Kansas City, and used the same Spanish Revival designs to make the Paseo aesthetically beautiful, as it is today. John Belt, a community organizer, decided that the surrounding communities needed an art district, and saw this as the perfect place.