The Oklahoma Historical Society and State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) are pleased to announce the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) designation for two properties in Oklahoma. The NRHP is our nation’s official list of properties significant in our past.
Oklahoma County, St. Ann’s Home for the Aged at 3825 NW 19th St., Oklahoma City. Designed by architect Charles Lester (C.L.) Monnot Sr. and constructed in 1950 by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City-Tulsa, St. Ann’s Home for the Aged met a growing need for senior housing within Oklahoma City. The property is significant for its association with the social history of Oklahoma City, as no formal housing for senior citizens existed at the time of St. Ann’s construction. Although a charity of the Catholic diocese, St. Ann’s Home welcomed seniors of all ages and faiths, who had few other options for decent housing. The facility offered dormitory-style accommodations with shared bathrooms, a communal dining hall, gathering spaces and a chapel. The facility also housed a small infirmary and provided basic nursing care for residents. St. Ann’s became a licensed nursing facility with the state in 1980 when Oklahoma enacted its first nursing home laws. State regulations required major interior alterations for the building to remain a licensed facility. Rather than update the building, the diocese opted to build a new nursing home and assisted living center. St. Ann’s Home closed in January 1991 when its last residents moved to the new facility.
Woods County, Alva Municipal Swimming Pool and Bathhouse, 1402 Flynn St., Alva
Once known as the “Little Ocean,” the Alva Municipal Swimming Pool and Bathhouse is an important landmark that symbolizes the importance of New Deal programs to Alva’s historic development. Completed by the Works Projects Administration (WPA) in 1940, the property served a dual purpose of alleviating economic hardship resulting from the Great Depression and providing Alva with a recreational facility. The swimming pool is 200 feet long with a capacity of over 500,000 gallons of water. A smaller, circular-shaped wading pool and concrete gazebo are also on the property. The one-story bathhouse is notable for its poured concrete construction and Art Moderne features that include fluted pilasters with beveled corners, horizontal fenestration, and low relief ornamentation around the main entrance. Together, the swimming pool and bathhouse are exemplary examples of the WPA’s efforts to utilize modern architectural designs in their construction of municipal structures for local communities in northwest Oklahoma. Listing in the National Register of Historic Places 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.
For more information contact Dr. Matthew Pearce, National Register of Historic Places coordinator, at 405-522-4479 or [email protected].
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.