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Methodist Episcopal Church, Woodward, OK

December 26, 2013

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Were it not for the wonder of eBay, I might never have known about this former Methodist Episcopal church in Woodward, Oklahoma, about 140 miles northwest of OKC. I lived in Oklahoma for seven years—yes, it took me seven years to complete a five-year undergraduate program, but remember the drinking age was lower then—I didn’t travel around the state excessively. Made it to Tulsa quite often and to Kingfisher once to see a 1950s church by one of the OU faculty. Never made it to Woodward (which is pronounced “woodurd” in those parts).

Oklahoma achieved statehood as recently as 1907, so there was little to inhibit architectural experimentation during those heady territorial years. Remember the lyrics from Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” So it shouldn’t surprise us that Woodward’s Methodists chose a more or less Prairie School design for their spiritual home. A hasty survey of google.earth suggested that it had been demolished but our friend Milton Yergens has a better eye for these sorts of things. The building does indeed survive at the southeast corner of Eighth Street and Texas Avenue. What think ye of this design?

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