Picher High School Campus (Three structures) – Picher

Address: Ottawa and A Streets, Picher, OklahomaCountyOttawa
Started Completed 1936

Current Usage:



The since-abandoned Picher High School campus includes three WPA structures dating to 1936: the Hayman athletic field, a gymnasium, and a vocational education building. Due to unique environmental circumstances the town has been dissolved and its residents forced to vacate. The school is abandoned and may be demolished.[1]
The Picher High School campus includes three WPA structures: the Hayman athletic field, a gymnasium, and a vocational education building. The massive (264′ x 572′) wall is constructed of coarse, uncut native stone on the interior and poured concrete on the exterior. Incorporated in the walls are two, pour concrete stands which on the west extends 240 feet and on the east 160 feet. Both stands rise six tiers. Unfortunately on the north end of the field the gym has been extended over and into the field area.
The gymnasium measures 100′ x 95′ and is constructed from random ashlar of an orange color. It has an arched roof with parapets capped with concrete. Concrete additions to the north and south walls have destroyed the integrity of this building.
The vocational education shop, located southwest of the gym, is a rectangular shaped (80′ x74′) structure made of oversized orange concrete bricks. It has a monitor roof with wood siding covering the upper portion and projecting eaves. Single door entries are found at various places on the structure. Windows are singly placed and have concrete sills. A concrete block addition with a new roof has been built onto the west side of the building.
WPA constructions at the Picher school are significant because they constituted an economically important community resource early in the depression era. Their construction provided local families with wages from some 15,000 man-hours of labor which were infused back into the depressed local economy. Jobs generated by the construction restored a sense of pride to many destitute and unemployed lead and zinc miners who might otherwise have been unable to provide for their families. The educational importance of the structures remains significant in that they are still being utilized by the school district.[2]

VERBAL BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION: From the NE corner of the NW 1/4 of Sec. 20, T 29 N, R 23 E, go west 208 feet to a point of beginning; then go west 416 feet, south 624 feet, east 416 feet, and north 624 feet.

Building is currently abandoned.[3]

In 2009 the Environmental Protection Agency evacuated the town deeming it unlivable. This combine with a EF4 tornado in 2008 cause the residents to move out of the town.


  1. The Living New Deal
  2. Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory Nomination
  3. Abandoned Oklahoma
  4. Picher School says farewell to last 11, The Oklahoman, May 17, 2009

Supported Documents:

  1. WPA Properties Ottawa Country – Picher School


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