Sapulpa’s Proud & Historic Civic Buildings


There was a time when civic buildings were built as a reflection of the pride and strength of a community. No expenses were spared on high quality materials, impressive architecture, and ornate decorations when it came to building the cornerstones of a town like Sapulpa. We are lucky to have several surviving examples of this school of thought, all within our beautiful downtown area.

When you drive through downtown from the East, it’s hard to miss the dazzling Creek County Courthouse complex with the century old Courthouse standing tall with its distinctive light grey granite and roman columns. The courthouse was built in 1914 at a time when Sapulpa was a boomtown and poised to become one of the most influential cities in the region.

Next to the Courthouse, somewhat oddly positioned towards the backside of the block, you’ll notice the proud building that was once Sapulpa’s Central Post Office. Brick pairs with roman columns in beautiful contrast here, and I’m told many remnants from the building’s former days of service remain inside. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view, the building has a new purpose as the Creek County Sherriff’s office, so views of the inside are hard to come by unless you have official business.

Behind the Central Post Office, on an unassuming corner pointing away from downtown is an intriguing building that seems to have originally been built as a large Masonic hall. It bears a large marble cornerstone stamped from 1925 which states that the building was at least partially used as such for a time, but I am still researching to see if there was more to it’s construction. In any case, the building continues the theme of large roman columns and stone ornamentation. It now serves as an office building for Creek County.

Further down the street you’ll pass by what was once Washington Elementary. This building isn’t as grand as my other examples, but those who pay close attention to architecture will notice a few distinctive characteristics from the 1930’s on display here, particularly the massing around the entrances and the locally produced sandstone around the base. This school was built in 1930 and remained in use until 2012 when it became an administrative building for the district.

On the far West side of downtown as you begin leaving down Route 66, you’ll notice Bartlett-Carnegie Library. This library was of course one of many built by the late great Andrew Carnegie, but is one of the few still around and in use as such. It was built in 1917 with help from H.U. Bartlett, a massively influential oil & businessman in this community. The little old library building has exactly the kind of quaint charm that people go searching for up and down Route 66, but inside it has been renovated throughout the years to remain useful and thriving as a resource to the community. If you venture inside, the old entrance way has a great display of all the old plaques from the building’s conception and historic renovations throughout the years.

It’s also probably worth mentioning the Sapulpa Community Theatre, which seems to have been built out of an old church that looks like it could be from the 1920’s-30’s but has been heavily modified over the years. Some day I will have to delve deeper into that one to find out it’s true history.

 

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