By Rhonda Shephard
Oklahoma boasts a diversity of history and architecture from the stellar Art Deco in Tulsa, Okla., to the Marlon Mansion castle in Ponca City, Okla., to the Victorian City of Guthrie, Okla. Also rich in history are some things you may never have given much thought to including agricultural architecture. Before you blink, consider the grain elevators, skyscrapers of the plains, mills, agricultural industry buildings for the very uniqueness of form and function. Structures from a bygone era gave the landscape definition. Where grain production ruled, these buildings stood as the most visible and impressive architecture visible. If you love farming and have an affinity for architecture, consider marrying the two interests.
The Elevator Historical District
Punctuating the Enid, Okla., skyline since the ‘20s, the concrete grain elevators span the horizon. The expansive size and volume, 75 million bushels, by 1962 provided Enid with the name “Grain Capitol of the World.”
The complex consists of seven separate elevators constructed in the ‘20s through the ‘50s is a national registry of historic places. The district is located between North 10th to North 16th and North Van Buren and Willow Streets. This historical district maybe the most unique one in the state and delivers an inspirational sight.
Wood Framed Elevators of Oklahoma Panhandle
In the Oklahoma Panhandle where grain fields stretched from horizon to horizon, the capture of the harvest was stored in wood framed structures. The following tells of three elevators, the last of their kind found in Beaver County.
Turpin Grain Elevator is one of the only wood framed grain elevators in the Oklahoma Panhandle between 1902 to1934, often found close to rail lines. The elevators followed a stud bema construction of wood, covered by metal sheathing to protect the inner-workings.
The elevator, a national historic registry site is located on Route 64 in Turpin.
Knowles Grain Elevator is another wood framed structure sheathed in metal sheathing with a central elevator surrounded by bins. It is currently not in use. Knowles Oklahoma Grain elevator is on Route 64 that runs through the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Floris Grain Elevator, a wood framed elevator was built in 1926. Built by the Farmers Union Equity, it is a wooden stud construction sheathed in corrugated tin. The elevator is located in Floris, an unincorporated community. A larger, modern elevator has replaced this old relic.
Pick up the May issue to learn more!