Downtown Oklahoma City

Downtown Oklahoma City

"This is what the "New Deal" means to me, an era of acute social consciousness and realization of mutual responsibility, a time of reciprocal helpfulness, of greater understanding and willingness to work together for the good of all" (Harold L. Ickes, Speech to the Associated General Contractors of America (Jan. 31, 1936) as quoted by Jason Scott, Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956 2006.). 

The New Deal brought both employment and the construction and renovation of both new and old, run down buildings to downtown Oklahoma City.  The buildings are all very close in distance, similar in an Art Deco style of architecture, and comprised of the same natural resource: limestone.  As another part of the New Deal, the work of the WPA was documented by the Federal Writers’ Program in the WPA Guide to Oklahoma. The WPA (Works Progress/Projects Administration) and PWA (Public Works Administration) both brought hope and opportunity to the downtown metro, and delivered new energy to a depression stricken Oklahoma.  

FALL 2015 CONTRIBUTORS

  • Archival Research: Breeanna Brock
  • Field Research: Chelsea Payntner
  • Oral History: Jordan Bernhardy
  • Mapping: Alex Chahanovich 
Downtown Oklahoma City