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Oklahoma Main Street Historic Walking Tours:
Ponca City, OK

Start/End Location:

The Historic Walking Tours in Downtown Ponca City will begin at City Hall, 516 E. Grand Ave., and end at the Ponca City Library, 515 E. Grand Ave., by appointment 580-763-8082.

Tour Guides:
Jayne Detten, Main Street Director, and Main Street volunteers
Virtual Tour: Click here to take a Virtual Walking Tour
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Tour Summary:
 
 
Click to enlarge each photo.
Ponca City, named for one of the five neighboring tribes, was founded September 21st four days after the land run opening of the Cherokee Strip on September 16, 1893. The walking tour will visit some of the more prominent historic buildings of Ponca City’s downtown as follows:
 
1.   City Hall, 516 E. Grand Ave.– the central auditorium was built in 1917 and was designed by the architectural firm of Layton, Smith and Forsyth in the Spanish colonial style. This firm also designed the state capitol building. Two wings were added in 1923. The east wing housed the city offices and a combination courtroom/assembly room. The west wing was used for the fire station, police station and jail.
2.   Post Office, 402 E. Grand Ave. – built in 1934 from native stone from the Marland Quarries in the Art Deco style. The total cost of the building was $200,000 with an additional $50,000 paid for the lot. The post office opened for business in 1934. In 1967 the building underwent a $637,000 east wing expansion.
3.   Marland Office Building, 322-324 E. Grand Ave.– built by oilman E. W. Marland in the late 1920’s in the Plains Commercial style as a much needed retail/office building during the oil boom. The building never housed Marland Oil Co. however, but did lease to Hidgon Florist and the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store in its early days. 
4.   Masonic Building, 3rd and E. Grand Ave. – built in 1924 in the Plains Commercial style. It was called the first “real office building” in Ponca City. The elegant 5th floor was used for the Masonic Lodge meeting rooms. The other floors housed the Lew Wentz Oil Co. and the Ponca City Building and Loan Co. among other office spaces.
5.   Farmer’s National Bank, 2nd & E. Grand Ave.– opening in 1908 and constructed of red pressed brick with second story horseshoe windows trimmed in stone. Six granite columns graced the front entrance. Farmers National Bank was the first true bank of Ponca City opening its business in 1902.
6.  Poncan Theatre, 104 E. Grand Ave. – built in 1927 and designed by the Boller Brothers of Kansas City in a Spanish Mediterranean style at a cost of $280,000. This unique atmospheric theater is one of only a few of its kind left and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
7.   Brett Implement Co., 100 E. Grand Ave. – built in 1900 of handsome stone for George Brett. It is one of the few original remaining limestone structures in the central business district. When first built the building had a diagonal entrance on the corner to take advantage of the” busiest intersection in town”. 
8.   Orville Savage Motor Co., 200 W. Grand Ave.– opening on Sept 16, 1927, 44 years to date after the 1893 Land Run. The building was designed by prominent local architect George J. Cannon in the Plains Commercial style and housed two motor car companies in early day Ponca City or car companies in early day Ponca City. 
9.   Caulkins Building, 1st & Grand Ave. - built in1901 by wealthy pioneer merchant CF Caulkins in the Plains Commercial style. This building housed an implement and vehicle business. The top floor housed the IOOF organization and has a grand ballroom space still mostly intact.
10.  Gill Funeral Home, 122 N. 2nd – built in 1925 for $50,000 and was originally a mortuary and funeral home in the Plains Commercial style. The building is virtually unchanged and still owned by the original family.
11.   Bus Station, 205 E. Cleveland – built in 1925 and served as Ponca City’s bus stop. Renovated now and still retains the original bus stop sign which has been repainted for the present owner.

12.   Old Ponca City News, 3rd & Cleveland – designed by Clyde H. Woodruff and occupied by the newspaper in 1924.

13.    Moose Lodge, 111-113 N. 2nd – designed by Layton, Smith and Forsyth of Oklahoma City in 1920 in the Classical Revival style. The building was the early day location of the Ponca City Post Office. The lodge originally housed bowling lanes, a billiard room, shower area, and lounging room. In later years, community dances were held on the 3rd floor.
14.   Barnes Store, 301-303 E. Grand Ave. – built in 1911 in the neo-classical style with large picture windows. Owner Louis S. Barnes operated it as a grocery store. LS was the son of BS, the founder and first mayor of Ponca City.
15.   Dr. DeWitt’s Clothing Hospital, 112-114 N. 4th – built in 1927 in the Spanish-influenced architecture style. The building was used for a business specializing in cleaning and tailoring. In the 1940’s the building became the Howe Baking Co.
16.   Royalty Building, 4th & E. Grand Ave. – built by oilman E. W. Marland in 1929, this mission style structure was designed by architect John Duncan Forsyth. The two story building housed retail below and office space above for E. W. Marland personally and the E. W. Marland Co. Purchased from Marland in the 1940’s and is now owned by the Donahoes, another prominent early day Ponca City family. 
17.   Paris Furniture Store, 409 E. Grand Ave. – also built by E.W. Marland and designed by John Duncan Forsyth in 1927. The Spanish eclectic style building was built to house the Jay G. Paris Furniture Store at a cost of $100,000. The store had an interior atrium open to the 2nd and 3rd floors with a large amber glass skylight.
18.   Ponca City Library, 515 E. Grand Ave. – designed by local architect George J. Cannon at a cost of $100,000 and dedicated in 1935, it was expanded to the west in 1987 at a cost of $1.67 million. The building boasts beautiful carvings and moldings on the exterior of a Spanish influence.
Additional historic homes and buildings within driving or further walking distance (should be in this order)
19.   Charlotte Marland Home, 919 E. Grand Ave. – Built in the early 20’s for the  sister of E. W. Marland. Ms. Marland was influential in local civic clubs while in Ponca City.
20.   Marland’s Grand Home, 1000 E. Grand Ave. – First home of E.W. Marland. Built in 1916 and designed by Soloman Layton. Now houses the 101 Ranch and Indian Museums and is owned by the City of Ponca City.
21.   Soldani Mansion, 819 E. Central – listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was built as the dream home of Anthony Godance Soldani, a French Osage Indian. The building is now home to the Ponca City Art Association.
22.   Alma Miller England Home, 201 S. 8th - A showplace in the 1920’s owned by Alma Miller, sister to the famous Miller Bros. of the 101 Ranch. Home is now owned by the Phil Bandy family.
23. Donahoe House, 302 S. 7th – completed in 1910 and designed in the craftsman style, it has 17 rooms and a native limestone foundation. The home now belongs to the Glen Mair family.

Web Site:

www.poncacitymainstreet.com

More Information:

Ponca City Main Street, (580)763-8082 or
dettejc@poncacityok.com

 

 

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Photos used thr
oughout this are courtesy of Ponca City News.

 

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