January 9, 2019
New Oklahoma National Register Listing
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office (OKSHPO) is pleased to announce the newest National Register of Historic Places listing for Oklahoma. The National Register of Historic Places is our nation’s official list of properties significant in our past.
The Sunset-Vogue-Blue Ribbon Apartments Historic District (district), located in Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, is locally significant under National Register of Historic Places Criterion A in the area of Community Planning and Development. The 16-acre district contains 70 resources comprised of 38 contributing apartment buildings, 12 contributing laundry sheds, 18 noncontributing apartment buildings, 1 noncontributing office and 1 noncontributing shed. The district contains 3 apartment complexes: the Sunset Apartments, the Vogue Apartments and the Blue Ribbon Apartments. The Blue Ribbon Apartments are noncontributing resources due to alterations to the exterior of each apartment building, although the complex retains its historic configuration of buildings and its relationship to the other contributing buildings. All three complexes were constructed in 1952, with the noncontributing office and shed constructed in 2007.
The district is located approximately 2.3 miles northwest of Lawton’s historic central business district in a postwar residential area that reflects Lawton’s rapid growth during the mid-20th century. The district is directly associated with the rapid expansion of Lawton’s population in the early 1950s as the United States entered the Korean War. The growth and expansion of Lawton has been intertwined with the activities of Fort Sill, a U.S. Army installation located directly north of the city. Fort Sill’s Field Artillery School trained thousands of soldiers and officers after World War II to maintain the country’s peacetime army and to prepare the country for engagement in the Korean War from 1950 through 1953. The nation’s postwar population boom and the training programs at Fort Sill resulted in a housing crisis in Lawton. In 1951 Lawton was declared a critical defense housing area, and as a result, private developers could rapidly construct housing with the assistance of low-interest loans. The Sunset-Vogue-Blue Ribbon Apartments Historic District was constructed in 1952 after this designation to provide housing to meet the critical demand in Lawton.
The district is located in northwest Lawton, directly south of Fort Sill, in an area that was rapidly developing in the mid-20th century. As a result, the district reflects the architectural language and the curvilinear streets characteristic of the era. The period of significance spans from 1952, when the resources were constructed to meet the needs of Lawton’s growing population as the country entered the Korean War, to 1967, when Lawton experienced its final population boom and housing crisis of the 20th century, which was related to Fort Sill’s role in training soldiers for the Vietnam War. The district retains integrity of location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, feeling and association to communicate its significant role in the residential development of Lawton.
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 Sara Werneke at the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office at 405-522-4478.