Commerce High School and Gym – Commerce

Address:107 S Maple St, CommerceCountyOttawa
Started Completed 1935

Current Usage:

Middle School


The Commerce High School building is rectangular (136′ x 103′) and constructed of red bricks. The roof over the classrooms is flat, while over the gym it is hipped with a deck. Parapets characterize both. The front entry is recessed and framed by poured concrete pilasters and a lintel that reaches the roof line. Window openings have brick sills and now contain new, fixed metal encased windows. The front entry has also been enclosed with glass doors and sidelights and covered by a new porch supported by steel pipe. The alterations do not impeach the architectural integrity of the structure. The structure, however, was initiated by the Oklahoma Emergency Relief Administration and finished by WPA labor.
The significance of the building is in its economic contribution to the community of Commerce at a time when the lead and zinc mines of the region had failed on hard times and miners were destitute and on relief. Construction of the building provided wages for more than 20,000 man hours of labor that were infused into the local economy and enabled workers to feed their families and maintain their self respect. Additionally, the building has been an important educational resource for the community, continuing with this service until the present time. Perhaps it is also notable that it is the building in which Mickey Mantle went to high school. [1]


  1. Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory Nomination
  2. The Living New Deal

Supported Documents:

  1. WPA Properties Ottawa County – Commerce HS and Gym


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