|Address:||Vicinity of Prue, Oklahoma 040, Osage County 113||County:||Osage|
A single story, essentially rectangular (231′ x 59′) structure, the Old Prue School and Gymnasium is constructed of rusticated and coursed native sandstone. The masonry is excellent, suggested especially by the rounded corners of the classroom segment of the structure and the modified pilasters surrounding the front entryway. Continuous window sills and lintels, a frieze below the windows and a heavy cap on the exterior walls reflect this excellence as well. There is an attractive bas-relief of a male and female student above each of the outside doors. The windows are wood sash. On the north rear corner a room of concrete blocks has been added, but this in no way detracts from the integrity of the structure.
The Old Prue School and Gymnasium complex is significant architecturally in that the masonry of the structure exceeds the quality of most WPA-constructed buildings. The rounded corners are expecially unique. The structure as a whole is notable within the community in terms of type, style, materials and workmanship. On the fringe of the Osage oil field, Prue suffered from the depressed energy industry, with more than its share of unemployed “reliefers.” Construction of the Prue school, large for a rural community, provided those persons with job opportunities and a measure of economic security. Construction also provided monetary infusion for the community as a whole, an amount equal to wages paid for more than 35,000 man hours of labor. Today the community of Old Prue is pretty much under Lake Keystone. The school building, virtually on the edge of the lake, stands as a monument to the humaness of the WPA and to a town that once was.