Harmon Athletic Field – Okmulgee

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Address:  Twelfth Street, Okmulgee, Oklahoma 040, Okmulgee County 111; NE 1/4, Sec. 7, T 13 N, R 13 E.  County:  Okmulgee
Started:   Completed:  1936

Current Usage:

Description:


Harmon Field contains a fieldhouse, concession stand, grandstand, rock fence, and a football/track field. These buildings and structures were all erected by the WPA. The fieldhouse consists of two structures connected by an entryway with a ticket booth on each side. The fieldhouse as a whole is a rectangular (73′ x 39′) structure. Its bottom half is constructed of rusticated and coursed native stone of buff color. The top half is made of uncut native stone of auburn and buff colors in a beaded masonry of random rubble. The strategic placement of the darker stone raises the masonry to the level of art. The workers used the darker rock to make the letters “W P A” across the front of the fieldhouse. The roof is gabled. The main entrance is defined by an archway made of steel. The windows openings are small and square with concrete sills and are located near the eaves of the structure.
The concession stand is a rectangular (161 x 22′) building constructed of cut, coursed, and rusticated native stone of buff color. The roof is gabled. There are no windows. The serving area has a wood insert that can be put in place, covering the serving counter. This stand has an addition of a concrete block structure attached to the west side. The addition does not impeach its integrity.
The huge grandstand (99′ x 239′) is constructed of rusticated and coursed native stone of buff color. The seats are made of concrete and there are 32 tiers. A pressbox in the back is a later addition.
The football/track field is surrounded by a stone fence that measuring 278′ on one side and being eight feet high. The fence is constructed of uncut native stone of auburn and buff colors. Its masonry is random rubble. A portion of the fence on the north side has been taken down and a dressing room has been built there, which is not a part of this nomination.
As a WPA project, Harmon Field is unique mainly due to its size. The fieldhouse is most unique in workmanship. The placement of the letters “WPA” in rock within the wall makes it most notable. The grandstand is the largest in this part of Oklahoma. Construction of Harmon Field provided many jobs that were badly-needed in Okmulgee. An increase of unemployed workers was reduced by WPA projects like this one and it infused wages of some 104,000 man-hours of labor into the local economy. The field also greatly enhanced recreational opportunities in the city of Okmulgee and inaugurated a winning tradition in athletic activities. 

VERBAL BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION: From the intersection of 12th and Creed Streets, the property begins at a point 416 feet west from the southeast corner of the NE 1/4 of Sec. 7, T 13 N, R 13 E, and then go north 624 feet, west 624 feet, south 624 feet, east 624 feet.

Sources:

  1. Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory Nomination
  2. National Register of Historic Places
  3. The Living New Deal
  4. Marjorie Barton, _Leaning on a Legacy: The WPA in Oklahoma_, Oklahoma Heritage Association, 2008. Pg. 37.
  5. Way Marking .com 

Supported Documents:

  1. WPA Properties Oklmulgee County – Harmon Athletic Field
  2. National Register of Historic Places Support Document
  3. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form

Photos: