October 6, 2016
New Oklahoma National Register Listings
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office is pleased to announce eight new National Register of Historic Places listings in Oklahoma. The National Register of Historic Places is our nation’s official list of properties significant in our past.
The Central Fire Station is located in Lawton, Comanche County. Constructed in 1930 with a 1957 expansion, the fire station is significant for its association with community planning and development. It provided a vital community service that reflects community development. It is also significant for its distinctive Commercial style of architecture. The nomination was partially funded through a grant from the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office.
Klingensmith Park Amphitheater in Bristow, Creek County, is significant for its role in entertainment/recreation and economics in the community of Bristow. The amphitheater was funded in part through the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration and was on the state-wide tour of Oklahoma New Deal projects reviewed by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The amphitheater continues as an entertainment and recreation venue in Bristow. The nomination was funded through a grant from Preservation Oklahoma, Inc.
Located at the Oklahoma City Zoo, the Lincoln Park Bathhouse is significant for its association with social history, specifically the Civilian Conservation Corps’ (CCC) work in Oklahoma City. Built in 1935 as a recreational facility associated with Northeast Lake, the bathhouse best represents the work completed as part of the CCC’s work at Lincoln Park.
The Mutual Savings and Loan Association Building, constructed in 1948 on Northwest 23rd Street in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, is significant in the area of architecture. The Mutual Savings and Loan Association Building is notable and unique in the area as a free-standing, stylized Modern Movement financial institution. It retains integrity and evokes its era of construction. The building clearly communicates its historic function as a financial institution with the Modern Movement aesthetic popular at the time of its 1959 renovation.
As is described in the National Register nomination produced by a student from the Oklahoma State University Geography Department, the Pruett House in Stillwater, Payne County, is significant for its Moderne style of architecture. Designed by Professor Haskell “Doc” Pruett in 1939, the house retains excellent integrity and is designed in a style that is underrepresented in the state of Oklahoma.
The Downtown Claremore Historic District, Rogers County, nomination was prepared in combination with the Claremore Main Street program and the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office. The historic district is significant for its role in commerce in Claremore from 1890 to 1955. This area has been the center of commercial development in Claremore from shortly after its founding in the 1880s to the present. The vast majority of the buildings were completed by the 1930s, with most commercial construction activity after this time being renovations. The buildings in the Downtown Claremore Historic District reflect the commercial growth of this community, growth spurred by transportation routes, transportation related activities and the bathhouse industry.
Finally, Tulsa County added two new National Register locations to their ever-increasing inventory. The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma Building, located at 1215 S. Boulder Avenue, is significant in the areas of community planning and development and architecture. Built in 1954 with a 1969 addition, the building represents the culmination of Blue Cross Blue Shields’s move into Oklahoma with a new and innovative healthcare system for the state. It is also significant for its Modern style of architecture. The Downtown Tulsa YMCA, located at 515 S. Denver Avenue is significant in the area of social history and architecture. Completed in 1953, the YMCA is associated with the YMCA movement that spread throughout the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with the mission to improve the spiritual, mental, social and physical condition of the whole man. The Downtown Tulsa YMCA, designed in 1953 by Leon Bishop Senter, is also significant as an excellent example of the International style of architecture.
Listing in the National Register is an honorific designation that provides recognition, limited protection and, in some cases, financial incentives for these important properties. The SHPO identifies, evaluates and nominates properties for this special designation.
The State Historic Preservation Office is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.
Editor’s Note: Photographs to accompany the story can be acquired by contacting the State Historic Preservation Office at 405-521-6249.