Top 10 Historical Homes Verbode Loves in OKC
Photo from Zillow
Historical Homes in OKC have become a way to cherish the history of our City. Everyone at Verbode loves to hear the story of the homes we have the privilege to sell, so we decided to research some of our favorite Historic OKC Homes. We recommend taking a weekend day to drive around and see these wonderful homes for yourself.
Top 10 Historical Homes In OKC
10. Charles Frost Home, 316 NW 21st Street in Heritage Hills
Completed in 1919, Charles Frost was listed as the original owner of this Praire style beauty. A well-known citizen, who took part in the opening of April 22, 1889, and in several other openings by which the original territory of Oklahoma has been expanded. For several years, he was the general agent in Oklahoma for several large breweries of Kansas City, St. Louis and Milwaukee. In 1898, he established the Crown Bottling Works at Sulphur Springs, Indian Territory, which was engaged in bottling for the wholesale trade.
9. Walter & Frances Edwards Home, 1621 NE Grand Blvd.
The Edwards home is located in Hassman Heights, a community founded and built by the Edwards. Constructed in 1942, it is a one and a half story, cream-colored brick veneer in the Tudor Revival style. The foundation is unique, made of uncoursed random-sized sandstone blocks. The home has several intersecting gables, with the one at the center front being clipped. Seven of the windows are covered with wood lath, forming a sunscreen. A balcony is located on the second floor on the south side, next to a large dormer. Tall brick chimneys are located at several points. The varied gables and room arrangements give this home an actual twelve corners.
The story of Walter (1891-1972) and Frances Edwards is an amazing one. Arriving in the new state of Oklahoma in 1907, and moving to Oklahoma City in 1915, Walter began as a laborer in a junkyard. Within a few years, he owned several businesses and began a fight for economic opportunities for blacks. He was instrumental in obtaining platting for an area of town, during a time when segregation was the rule of the game. He began developing a housing addition in the mid-1930s and offered home financing from his own resources at a time when it was not available to the black community elsewhere. Hassman Heights was a community of nice homes on the northeast side of the city, growing to 120 homes by 1955. Edwards home is one of the earlier homes in this area, being built in 1941-1942. The Edwards donated land for a park, a school, and built a local hospital. All this with a fourth-grade education and coming through an era of severe segregation.
8. Melvin F. Luster Home, 300 NE 3rd Street in the Deep Deuce District
This home, located on the southwest corner of N. E. 3rd Street and N. Central Ave., was built by Sidney D. and Mary Lyons, the mother and step-father of Melvin Luster who later owned and occupied the home. Lyons, who died in 1942, was one of the earliest African American businessmen in Oklahoma City. He owned the nationally known East India Toilet Goods & Mfg. Co., which made and sold toiletries, hair tonic, face powder, soap, and perfume, which was manufactured in an outbuilding on this property. The home is located in an upward-moving district known as “Deep Deuce”, the former center of African American business and music.
The home is a two-story brick home in the Italianate style, built in 1926. It has a Spanish tile roof, and a porch which extends across the full front. The porch has large arched openings, supported by embedded stone pillars. The front entrance is a single wood-planked door with a circular divided window. Surrounding the arched opening is a surround of stone detail work. The windows are single hung six-over-one. The entire property is surrounded by a low, scalloped brick wall, approximately three feet high.
The Register nomination form describes the interior as being lavish and unusual, with canvas walls, covered in oil paintings, sculptured ceramic tile and stone fireplaces, beveled glass French doors and Oriental rugs and carpets.
7. The John Sinopoulo Home, 4000 N. Kelley
The John Sinopoulo home, also known as Sundial was begun in 1915 and completed in 1919. An additional art studio for Mrs. Sinopoulo was built above a bedroom in 1929. The Sinopoulo’s lived in this home until their deaths in 1976 and 1977. It is still a residence, so the photos included here are not too intrusive. This is a Mediterranean villa, with 14 rooms on four levels. Basically, it is a two-story north-south rectangle with stone balustraded terraces, arched windows, and some stained glass windows. The main entrance is on the west, through a vestibule under a carport. The Register nomination forms indicate there are a large 18 x 28 ft. living room with a Spanish-style fireplace. A library on the 2nd level to the north overlooks the living room. The outside walls are stucco, with a red tile roof, and it has the typical Mediterranean use of brackets, masonry finials, balconies and open terraces. There is a detached garage to the north with living quarters above.
John G. Sinopoulo was born in Greece, came to the United States in 1890 and arrived in Oklahoma in 1903. Not known specifically for his wealth, he was better known for his contributions to entertainment and culture in the Oklahoma City area. He built Delmar Gardens, a popular amusement park, with picnic facilities, train rides, refreshment stands, theater, Ferris wheel and other carnival rides which were enjoyed till it closed in 1910. He built the Lyric Theater and was part of the organization and management of many theaters and vaudeville houses in the area. Mrs. Sinopoulo was an artist, who painted throughout her entire life. She died in 1976, followed by her husband in 1977, at the age of 101. John Sinopoulo also built many buildings and cultural things in his hometown in Greece and was knighted by King Paul of Greece. He was inducted posthumously into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1995.
6. The Goodholm Home, 3101 Grand Pershing Blvd.
The ornate, Victorian-style house located behind the Oklahoma Art Center on the State Fairgrounds appears to be more appropriate to a lazy, 1902 small town street than to a bustling state fair. The house was literally picked from its original location at NE 4 and Walnut in Oklahoma City and moved, in several sections, to the fairgrounds in 1979, to be restored and turned into a museum of early statehood days.
Andrew Goodholm, a Swedish immigrant who settled in Indian Territory, built the house on NE 4 in 1901. Goodholm was a miller and later became a city councilman and a director of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. His home was a three-story frame structure, with a round turret rising all three stories. The top floor included a ballroom. Around the outside a veranda, which held a porch swing during the Goodholm family residency, circled half the house. By 1978, when the urban area of Oklahoma City had grown up and was finally being torn down around the neighborhood, the Goodholm house, having passed through a number of owners and by then an apartment house, was in danger of being razed. Owner Jim Fentriss, a local businessman, donated the building to the State Fair.
The fair management accepted the building, valuing it as one of the few remaining architectural examples of that period. It was divided into several sections and lifted by crane onto trucks and carried to the fairgrounds, where it was reassembled. The roof, windows and railings have been restored, with attention to authentic details of its period. The Oklahoma Historical Society is helping raise funds for the restoration and has advised on the project, with assistance from Goodholm’s two daughters, residents of Stillwater.
5. Johnson-Hightower Home, 439 NW 15th Street in Heritage Hills
“This house, constructed in 1909 for Frank Johnson, is one of Oklahoma City’s finest examples of Neoclassical residential architecture. The entrance portico employs giant order Roman Doric columns with dentils and triglyphs in the entablature. Windows flanking the main entrance are also articulated with Doric pilasters and pediments. The entry features a paneled door with sidelights and a second-floor balcony and door with leaded and beveled sidelights. Johnson was a prominent financier and President of the First National Bank and Trust Company.”
The home, in the Greek Revival style, has five bedrooms, seven baths, a library, recreation room, numerous other living spaces, a 2,703-square-foot basement and detached garage with 936-square-foot apartment. The home passed to Johnson’s grandson, Frank Johnson Hightower, namesake of the Hightower Building downtown and other enterprises, who had the interior remodeled from its original Victorian to the Regency style.
4. W.T. Hales Home, 1521 N. Hudson in Heritage Hills
The Hales Mansion is located at 1521 N. Hudson, facing Hudson to the east. This is a three-story Second Renaissance Revival home built in 1916 and designed by Hawk & Paar, well known early-Oklahoma architects. The home is constructed of Bedford stone with special gray brick imported from Greece. The home cost $125,000 to build (an astronomical amount in those days), and the furnishings within, cost another $125,000. The home contained a $10,000 elevator and an 8 x 10 vault for valuables.
The main entrance has a large, elaborate portico supported by eight Corinthian columns with a balustrade on the third level. A secondary entrance on the north is equally elaborate with its own portico and columns. The third-floor windows have iron balconettes. On the first level, the entrance opens into a Great Hall which can easily accommodate 100 people. A similar hall is on the second floor, which has been converted into a chapel. A grand staircase in the main hall, with two wooden lions at the base, leads to the upper floors. When built, this was the largest residence in Oklahoma City.
William T. Hales arrived in Oklahoma Territory in 1890 from Missouri, as a 17-year-old boy with nothing. He began trading horses and mules and eventually owned the largest mule barn business in Oklahoma. He invested well and became one of Oklahoma City’s financial leaders. After his death in 1938, the home was sold to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma and became the residence of the Archbishop.
3. William Harn Home, 1721 N. Lincoln Blvd.
The Harn House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Built in 1904, William Harn lived here until his death in 1944. The property was inherited by their niece who lived here until her death in 1967 after which it was deeded to the City of Oklahoma City. It is currently a private museum known as the Harn Homestead. Several other buildings are located on this farm, but the main residence is the only one listed on the Register.
William Harn originally purchased 160 acres, later deeding 40 to the State for the capitol building. Currently, this property contains ten acres. The main home is a two-story frame residence in the Queen Anne Victorian style. It has lap siding and shingles and a minimum of ornamentation on the porch railings, balcony and cornices. There are six rooms on the first floor and three large bedrooms on the second level. There is also a finished attic. Surrounding the home are several outbuildings, including a residence, barns and service buildings for the operation of a territorial farm. The museum was closed at the time of our arrival, and we were unable to get a good photo of the home itself.
The property was placed on the NRHP due to the significance of Mr. Harn. he was born in 1859 and was called to the Oklahoma Territory in 1891 to serve as a Special Agent with the General Land Office. After the Land Run of 1889, there were many disputes over land ownership, and Mr. Harn was instrumental in resolving many of these. Because he was versed in property matters, he was very prominent in the developing of Oklahoma City.
2. Donald Pollock Home by Bruce Goff, 2400 NW 59th St. in Belle Isle
Built in 1957, the home was purchased by Joe and Laura Warriner in 1966. They commissioned Goff to design an addition and remodeling of the existing home. Although the addition was not constructed the home was extensively remodeled in the early 1980’s in accordance with Goff’s plans. The remodeling improved the quality of the original design. Built on a corner lot, the Pollock home is a composition of nine square modules with an angled screened porch atop a detached studio.
1. Overholser Mansion, 405 NW 15th Street in Heritage Hills
The Overholser House, locally known as the Overholser Mansion, is a masterpiece of architecture and history. The home still contains the original French lace curtains, English carpets and French stained glass windows. Located at 405 N. W. 15th Street in the Heritage Hills Historic District, it is open to the public for tours Mon-Sat 10-3 and is closed on Mondays, holidays and during the month of January.
This is a three-story French chateau-style home that was lived in by the Overholser family until 1972, at which time ownership was transferred to the State of Oklahoma, and eventually to the Oklahoma Historical Society, who currently maintain it. The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Oklahoma has restored and maintains the nursery and provides financial support and volunteer docents.
Henry Overholser, who came to the Oklahoma Territory in 1889, was a driving force in early Oklahoma City development. He built over 35 buildings in Oklahoma City, including two opera houses, the United States Courthouse, and the State Fairgrounds. He was the founding President of the Board of Trade (now known as the Chamber of Commerce). He died in 1915; his wife in 1940.
This residence was designed by W. S. Matthews, who was trained at London’s Kensington Academy. He designed, oversaw construction and furnished the mansion. Overholser had the home built in 1903 to convey his belief in the permanence of Oklahoma City.
The home has many extraordinary features. It is covered with buff-colored brick, with a stucco covering over the foundation. On the southeast corner is an eight-sided tower with decorative terra cotta between the first and second floors. The roof of the tower is an eight-sided tile roof with a finial at the top. Between the second floor and the roof is a band of a fleur-de-lis with brackets under the eave.
*Sources include waymarking.com, nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com, newsok.com