|Address:||401 N. Main, Seminole, Oklahoma||County:||Seminole|
|Agencies:||PWA||NRHP:||July 24, 2015|
Municipal Building, Library, City Hall
The town of Seminole was originally platted in 1906 due to the railroad building a line through the region, but is wasn’t until 1926 the city was transformed almost overnight by an oil boom after a gusher at the Fixico No.1 came into existence. Seminole immediately exploded from 800 to around 30,000 almost overnight. With the oil boom ending after 1930 the population stabilized to 11,000 where the need for many services and municipal structures were identified as a need and not a want from city planners, yet since it was the beginning of the Great Depression the funds were not available. In 1926 or 1927 the city planners erected a two-story building for a city hall, fire station, police station, and jail on Fourth Street between Oak and Broadway, it quickly was apparent due to the population increase that the facilities were inadequate. The school district had completed a newer larger high school (it’s second building in 10 years) and the “old” high school building located at Main and Evans became available to the city government in 1930. Between 1930 and 1934 the building and former basketball arena housed offices and civic center. Many groups held events in the “civic center” until December 29, 1934 when a gas leak in the auditorium caused the building to explode with three fatalities and several injured. After the offices area were repaired with shoring and the need for newer offices was identified. The city council contemplated a bond issue to pay for a new Civic Center and offices and a planning committee discussed buying a new site and creating a facility that would accommodate those requirements and more. Several citizens objected to spending money on a new site when the current site was available and could accommodate a building at a large size.
The council in 1935 selected the architectural Oklahoma City firm of Winkler and Reid to handle the project when the submitted a design for a building costing $75,000 and included all the desirable spaces for city and civic center auditorium. The mayor and the council also applied in April 1935 for a grant through the Public Works Administration and anticipated a outright grant of 30% and a 70% loan at 4% interest. When the grant was approved September 26, 1935 the PWA had changed the formula where the city had to provide 55% of the cost and the federal government provided 45% in a grant and the loan was 3% interest, with an amount of $86,818. By January 27, 1936 the first federal check arrived and Nathan Cowan Construction had sent materials and equipment to the site and prepared to started construction. Since the winter of 1936 was so harsh, ground breaking did not occur until March 1936 and a grand opening came on Thanksgiving Day November 25, 1936.
The building still is used for the Offices of the city, but the auditorium and library became too small for events and books. Thus, by the mid-1960s the local junior college built a new campus, the city built a new library and most of the larger events were moved to Shawnee or other larger event places.
Coordinates: 35.226717277097165, -96.66896587370141