Minicipal Auditorium (Civic Center) – Oklahoma CIty

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Address: 201 N. Walker Ave, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County Oklahoma
Started 1935 Completed 1937

Current Usage:

Performing Arts Center

Description:


In 1927, the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and the city jointly purchased the land that would become home to a municipal auditorium after voters approved a $4 million bond for the site. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs in the 1930s contributed 55 percent of the cost of building through the Public Works Administration. J. O. Parr began planning and designing the Municipal Auditorium, budgeted at $1.25 million. The original design features a six-story building with both neoclassical and Art Deco features that seated 6,200 in the main hall and smaller theatre that seated 400.

In August 1935, the Roosevelt Administration announced that all PWA projects had to break ground by December 1935 or risk losing federal support. W. S. Bellows Construction became the primary contractor and began on-site excavation on time. The Municipal Auditorium was completed in April 1937. The first performance, “Rhapsodic Rhythms” took place on October 4, 1937.

The Oklahoma Art Center, a community art center administered by the Federal Art Project, was located in Municipal Auditorium. Fundraising campaigns began for the successful organization as the Federal Art Project came to an end, and in May 1945 the Oklahoma Art Center was incorporated. In 1989 it was merged into the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Remodels include 1966 where the main auditorium was renovated to cater more to the performing arts by decreasing the size of the hall, moving the side wall in and installing mahogany panels, lowering the ceiling and replacing the portable floor with a sloped fixed floor. In 1971 the basement was converted into office space and later converted back to the theatre space and dressing rooms.  After the 1966 remodel the building was renamed the Civic Center Music Hall.

The project was completed in August 1937 at a construction cost of $1,146,783 and a project cost of $1,205,000.”

The building is still used today for concerts, performing arts, and other events.

Sources:

  1. Wikipedia
  2. The Living New Deal
  3. Civic Center Music Hall
  4. Doug Dawgz Blog Oklahoma City

Supported Documents:

  1. Historic American Landscapes Survey

Photos: