View Full Version : Doug...I have 2 questions for you....

01-29-2009, 03:44 PM
#1...why was the orginal Oklahoma County Courthouse from 1902 replaced? It looked to be an amazing building. Do you have any pics of it in its later years? you have any pictures of Del City (the earlier the better).

Thanks Doug...your website is great!!!!


01-29-2009, 07:39 PM
I can help on the courthouse part:
The courthouse was abandoned by the county when a new one was built in the 1930s as part the Civic Center plan (it also included construction of a new city hall, police headquarters and municipal auditorium). Sadly, the county did little to take care of the old courthouse and it's interior consisted of a lot of wood that did not hold up well. The land was sold to a group led by B.D. Eddie in the 1950s and torn down for what eventually became a parking lot for a Holiday Inn built in 1967 and then closed in the 1980s (the Holiday Inn is now home to the Character First Institute).
Basically, the courthouse was the victim of apathy and neglect that was pervasive when it came to old buildings in the city prior to the 1970s.

01-29-2009, 08:59 PM
Per my father now deceased who was born and raised in Oklahoma City told me the building was beautiful, but like today's jail it was shoddy construction. Was not worth the time effort and money to maintain. Even back then they encountered the same things we are today. As far as early picks contact the library, Daily Oklahoman archives. See blog link for Midwest Del City and for photos mostly from Midwest City.

01-30-2009, 09:04 AM
If I remember correctly, there is either a thread with more history on this, or DougDawg did a blog post on it, or both. Search and Google are your friends...

01-30-2009, 09:53 AM
Thanks guys!!!

Doug Loudenback
01-30-2009, 11:35 AM
Hi, Eddie, I just noticed this thread. Thanks for your kind remarks.

As it happens, I finished a blog article on the Civic Center last night (although I'm sure I'll be editing it) and it is here: Doug Dawgz Blog: The Civic Center ( The article was inspired by a wonderful sketch found by Blair Humphreys and posted in his excellent blog here: imagiNATIVEamerica OK Historic Courthouse’s Last Chance (

Blair had located this excellent sketch of the Civic Center plan submitted by Hare & Hare in 1931 (the tower was the proposed City Hall building):


... and he wondered out loud why the part of the plan which included the old courthouse area got scrapped.

Hare & Hare was the landscape architect and city planning firm from Kansas City which the city engaged to put together a Civic Center plan. The plan contemplated a new courthouse in the same location as the old one.


However, it appears that county leaders didn't care for that location and the idea got scrapped and it eventually got cut from the plan. In the postscript at the bottom of the article, an Oklahoman article shows the building during a November 1944 fire:


About Del City, I don't have any photos at all but would like some.

01-30-2009, 11:37 AM
Doug....thanks for the amazing info!!

Doug Loudenback
01-30-2009, 11:46 AM
Thanks, Eddie.

Steve, did you notice that the unfinished Gladdish Building (see Doug Dawgz Blog: The Gladish Building -- What? ( shows up in the Hare & Hare sketch? Amazing.

01-30-2009, 04:32 PM
Wow. That's really weird Doug. That must have been a big deal before it got all screwed up.

Doug Loudenback
01-30-2009, 07:43 PM
Finishing the research now, I see how much litigation was involved in the Civic Center ... amazing ... one case even went to the US Supreme Court! A fun little piece involved the claims of guys who should have known better ... contribute to Colcord's campaign to get the tracks titled in the city, and then claim the city owes you money later on ...

01-30-2009, 08:59 PM
I wish City Hall looked like that, and Bicentennial Park.

What I find most interesting about the whole thing is that it was clearly intended to be the Center of the city, but it hasn't really turned out that way. It's very much on the edge of downtown and I think the perception of the center has shifted to the Myriad Gardens.

Doug Loudenback
02-01-2009, 02:23 AM
I don't know, jbrown, about an intention that the City Hall become the center of the city since I didn't find it described it that way in anything that I could find. Downtown would have had to expand at least a few blocks to the west, maybe approaching Classen Blvd. for City Hall to become downtown's center. But, recall, too, that Classen Boulevard didn't extend south of 17th Street until 1952 so it couldn't have been contemplated as the west boundary of downtown in the 1930s. It is interesting to me that Classen Blvd.'s 1952 expansion was hailed at its grand opening as the "Classen Blvd. FREEWAY!" :bright_id


As for the scaling back of the initially proposed tower for city hall, the mid-1930s articles indicated that the size of city hall was reduced because it was not then seen that the city would need as much space as the initially proposed tower would have provided.

As to the query which started this thread, I've added a good bit about the aftermath of the old courthouse after the 1944 fire here: Doug Dawgz Blog (

02-01-2009, 10:46 PM
Well I was just saying that based on the fact that it was called the "Civic Center".