March 20, 2018
New Oklahoma National Register Listings
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is pleased to announce the newest National Register of Historic Places listings for Oklahoma. The National Register of Historic Places is our nation’s official list of properties significant in our past.
Located at 311 West Wabash Avenue in Enid is the Enid High School Observatory. Known as the Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg Observatory, the observatory illustrates one school district’s unique response to opportunities for improving science education through federal funding as a result of the National Defense Education Act of 1958. Enacted at a time of national insecurity following the Soviet Union’s launch of the earth-orbiting satellite Sputnik, the NDEA was intended to address perceived weaknesses in science, mathematics and modern foreign language instruction and insufficient technological training in the nation’s schools. As a result, the Enid High School Observatory was the state’s only high school observatory during this period and retains that distinction to date. Incorporating the observatory into the school’s curriculum brought national attention to its physics program and state recognition to students.
Three properties in Oklahoma City also were added to the National Register. Dunbar Elementary School located at 1432 Northeast Seventh Street is significant for its Classical Revival style as well as for its association with education as Oklahoma City’s only extant historically “separate” elementary school in the city. The 1210–1214 North Hudson Avenue Historic District is significant for its association with Commerce and Health/Medicine in an area that evolved through time from a commercial street to a street primarily of medical providers in the urban core. Finally, the First National Bank and Trust Company Building located at 120 North Robinson/111 North Broadway Avenues is significant in the area of Commerce as it was Oklahoma’s largest bank for most of the 20th century as well as for it architectural styles of Art Deco and International.
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 405-522-4484.