Carey Place Historic District

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, OK

Home | Whats New | Site Index | Contact | Search

The Carey Place Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [‡]


Carey Place Historic District consists of one unusually narrow lane with houses and duplexes constructed in the 1930s on shallow, wide lots. The 36 buildings are of brick, stone, or stucco, usually painted white, and are mostly of Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style. The other eight resources in the Carey Place Historic District are the entry objects located at both ends and the middle of the neighborhood. Of the total 44 resources, 40 (90.9%) are contributing. Carey Place was built on the right-of-way of a never-constructed interurban railroad; it is flanked by the Gatewood Addition, where most houses were built in the Tudor Revival style, five to fifteen years earlier. The Carey Place Historic District is located about three miles northwest of downtown Oklahoma City.


Carey Place Historic District consists of a single street, which is unusually narrow. The entire width is 160 feet, including residences on both sides of the street, and the street itself down the middle. With the street pavement being 20 feet wide, the properties are 70 feet deep from the edge of the pavement to the rear of the property. Buildings are set back about 20 feet from the pavement; the facades are about 60 feet from the facades across the street. Most lots are 91 feet across. The street is in a straight line throughout its length, approximately 1450 feet, and divided into two blocks. The topography is almost flat, with the highest point near the north end. Most houses are squarish, slightly wider than deep; detached garages are at the sides, set on the rear property line, with short driveways. The typical house lot of the 1930s was about twice as deep as those on Carey Place, with just over half the width, and double the front setback from the curb of a wider street.

All the buildings of the Carey Place Historic District except one were constructed in two phases, from 1931 to 1932 and from 1936 to 1938. There are twenty single-family residences, and ten duplexes, six of which also have one-unit apartments above detached garages. Of the single-family homes, most have detached garages, and fourteen are one-and-one-half or two stories tall. All of the duplexes are two stories tall, with one unit above the other; those without garage apartments have detached garages. Most of the single-family homes have detached garages; four garages are incorporated into the houses. Of the 36 buildings, 32 (88.8%) are contributing to the Carey Place Historic District. The Carey Place Historic District also includes eight contributing objects; these are sections of brick fences, paired at the ends of the street and at the mid-point crossing. Of the total 44 resources, 40 (90.9%) are contributing.

Three of the four noncontributing properties are so listed because of alterations; however, these maintain the massing, style and color of their surroundings. The fourth property, a house built after the period of significance, fits on its lot as do its neighbors.

Most of the buildings on Carey Place are of the Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style; of those, most are of the Spanish Eclectic type. They have masonry walls (mostly brick, some stone and stucco), with no eaves, and prominent arches. Most are painted white. Houses of other styles in the Carey Place Historic District, including Tudor Revival and Minimal Traditional, are of the same materials.

Carey Place Historic District is located approximately three miles northwest of downtown Oklahoma City, which at the time Carey Place was built, was the commercial, business, and local government hub of the city. The state capitol, which is two miles east, had been built about twenty years earlier. The Gatewood Addition, both east and west of Carey Place, was platted in 1922 and largely completed by 1930. Most Gatewood properties have unpainted red or buff brick single-family houses, many of Tudor Revival style, with lots 50 feet wide and 135 to 150 feet deep. The last section of Gatewood Addition, immediately north of Carey Place, was platted in 1930 and built from then until the late 1940s. To the south are brick duplexes and apartments built from the 1920s through the 1940s. All the surrounding properties are on standard-width streets, where the facades are about 110 feet from the facades across the street.

Upon entering Carey Place Historic District, one senses the differences immediately the closeness of the buildings to the street, and then the consistency of style, massing, and color that is so different from the surrounding areas. The Carey Place Historic District retains integrity in terms of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association.


The Carey Place Historic District is included in the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance as an outstanding cohesive example of 1930s masonry houses, mostly painted white and of Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style. Other styles represented share some common design elements, including the similarity of building mass and lot layout. Of the 36 buildings, 32 (88.8%) are contributing to the Carey Place Historic District; including eight contributing objects, 40 (90.9%) of the total 44 resources are contributing. The Carey Place Historic District is also included in the National Register for community planning and development significance as a residential neighborhood of atypical shallow lots on a narrow street, resulting from development of the neighborhood on a never constructed interurban right-of-way. Designs similar to Carey Place saw little local use except in other locations of highly restricted land dimensions; modern application is limited. The Carey Place Historic District retains integrity of feeling and association, as well as design, materials, workmanship, setting, and location.

Historical Background

Carey Place Historic District was built in two phases from 1931 to 1938, less than a half-century after the settlement of the Unassigned Lands of what is now central Oklahoma. The initial use of the land was a 160-acre homestead, but the area was in the path of the rapidly growing Oklahoma City. Much of the surrounding neighborhood, Gatewood, was built in the 1920s. Carey Place was built on the 160-foot-wide right-of-way remaining from a planned, but never executed, construction of an interurban railway line. The initial construction was done by Callaway, Carey & Foster. Over half the buildings of the later group were built by Jess Woolf, who was also a long-time resident of the district.

Early Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City was established as a result of the 1889 Land Run with an initial population of 4,138, which by 1910, three years after statehood, had risen to 64,205. Extending in all four directions from the downtown, residential neighborhoods quickly developed. Toward the northeast, on the east side of the Santa Fe Railroad tracks, the Maywood Addition developed with stately Victorian residences. South of the downtown area, across the North Canadian River, the Capitol Hill neighborhood was established. And, northwest of downtown Oklahoma City, following the progress of the streetcar lines, were the majority of Oklahoma City's middle and upper class neighborhoods.

By the mid-1910s, frame and brick homes lined the streets of the city and, while many were located south of Northwest 10th Street, there were some as far north as Northwest 23rd Street. The Oklahoma City economy boomed during the 1920s, and neighborhoods continued to develop rapidly with almost every street from the centrally located downtown north to North 36th Street and south to South 29th Street mostly filled with homes of varying sizes. These neighborhoods represent the residential architectural styles of the mid-1910s and 1920s. These styles include Bungalow/Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Prairie School, Tudor Revival, and many others typical of the two decades. Home construction continued at a fast pace into the 1920s, with such developments as Jefferson Park Historic District (National Register, 1995) and Capitol-Lincoln Terrace Historic District (NR, 1976).

The discovery of the Oklahoma City Oil Field in 1928 resulted in an economic boom before the effects of the Great Depression reached the city. This economy encouraged experienced developers such as G.A. Nichols to continue to develop parcels and build and sell houses; even into the Depression such large developments as Crown Heights Historic District (NR 1995) and Shepherd Historic District (NR 1997) were constructed.

Neighborhood Development

Carey Place Historic District consists of 5.5 acres, located within the 160 acres of the northwest quarter of Section 29, Township 12 North, Range 3 West. In the 1889 land run, the northwest quarter was claimed and homesteaded by Lewis Walch. By 1902 the University Development Company had bought all the northeast quarter of the same section, part of the northwest quarter and more, extending its holdings from present-day North Walker Avenue to one block west of North Florida Avenue, and from Northwest 16th Street to Northwest 23rd Street. Principals of the company included early civic leaders Anton Classen, C.F. Colcord, F.B. Zieglar, John W. Shartel, and Margaret McKinley.

University Development's land was subdivided in 1902 into 81 blocks as University Addition. That part of University Addition east of North Western Avenue is now most of the Mesta Park Historic District (NR 1983). Within the area west of Western Avenue was a 52-acre parcel bounded by 17th Street, 21st Street, McKinley Avenue, and Classen, designated for a new college campus: Epworth University was founded in 1904 by both major branches of the Methodist Church. It closed in 1911; successor organizations moved several times, even to Guthrie, and in 1922 opened Oklahoma City College (now University, NR 1978) on the north side of Northwest 23rd Street, just north of the University Addition. Most of the Epworth land was sold for houses; the main campus building remains today as part of Epworth United Methodist Church, at 1901 North Douglas Avenue.

By 1902 the western three-quarters of the Walch farmstead was owned individually by Margaret McKinley, the secretary of University Development. In 1906 McKinley sold for $18,000 a 31-acre tract northeast from Pennsylvania Avenue and 16th Street to the Roman Catholic Church, represented by Bishop Theophile Meerschaert. McKinley and Meerschaert then platted eight blocks of McKinley Place. In subsequent swaps Meerschaert acquired a parcel at what is now Kentucky Avenue at 18th Street, where he located a "suitable" residence and moved the church offices from the territorial capital of Guthrie. The house stands today at 1905 North Kentucky Avenue. Only the southwest block of McKinley Place was developed.

All of McKinley's land, which had come to include the undeveloped western most blocks of University Addition, had been annexed into the city limits of Oklahoma City by 1908. She lost the land to foreclosure in 1913. Dennis T. Flynn (who before statehood was Oklahoma Territory's non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress) and his relatives acquired her property. In January 1922, his son, Streeter B. Flynn, with Bishop Meerschaert, platted 23 blocks of Gatewood Addition from Northwest 16th Street to Northwest 23rd Street, extending east from Pennsylvania Avenue. The development was highly successful, with several blocks completely developed in less than five years.


In 1902, the Oklahoma City council awarded the Metropolitan Street Railway Company the right to build a streetcar line, with John W. Shartel as its general construction manager. Branching out from downtown Oklahoma City, residential neighborhoods followed everywhere the lines were laid. Classen Boulevard was the main north-south local streetcar line and also served as the route of the interurban line which ran between Norman and Guthrie, with a branch to El Reno. The main line west of downtown extended along Linwood Boulevard (about three-fourths mile south of Northwest 16th Street), then north along Virginia and Pennsylvania Avenues, then west on Northwest 12th Street to Drexel Boulevard.

A line branched north from the Linwood line along the west side of Blackwelder Avenue to Northwest 16th Street; it was named the College line, for the College Addition at its terminus on the south side of 16th. But before that branch line was built, the railway company had made plans for a high-speed interurban railway along the same path. The extension of that planned route later became Carey Place.

Streetcar right-of-way widths could be as narrow as 30 feet, even for a double-track interurban; 33 to 40 feet was more common. Where located in the middle of a boulevard, such as Classen (half mile east), the total width of the street including the rails was 110 to 150 feet.

In the neighborhoods between Linwood Boulevard and Northwest 16th Street, John W. Shartel and M.J. (Martha) Straight (Shartel's secretary) had as individuals acquired enough lots by 1920 to create a continuous strip west of Blackwelder Avenue. When combined with some existing narrow right-of-way south of Northwest 12th Street, a 100-foot-wide strip was created for the Oklahoma Railway Company (by then, the streetcar company name), and an additional 30-foot-wide strip was created for a new city street west of the railway right-of-way. In a May 1920 city ordinance, the city permitted construction of the railway: "Whereas, the Oklahoma Railway Company has located a line of high speed interurban railway over and across certain portions of the City of Oklahoma City, ...and proposes to construct and erect over and along such route a line of high speed electric railway, inconsistent with the use of any part of said route for grade or surface crossings or intersections with streets, alleys or other public thoroughfares, and proposes to finally establish similar routes for the separation of the grades of the streets of said City from the grades of its interurban lines, and the City deeming such undertaking necessary for the safety of the inhabitants of said City and being anxious and willing to cooperate in the establishment of such lines of electric interurban service within the limits of said City, and having reached an agreement with the Oklahoma Railway Company as to the manner of construction of said line over the route described, be it therefore ordained..."[1]

The city ordinance included several provisions: Sections of streets and alleys were vacated in order to eliminate grade crossings. A new street was created and opened west of the rail right-of-way "in order to remove the inconvenience resulting from the closing of such streets." The railway company agreed to locate a double-track railway over their right-of-way within five years, "but in the meantime may, for the immediate needs of the public service, construct temporary tracks over said route." The railway was required to construct at its expense bridges of specified designs over and under those streets to remain open (Linwood, 8th, 10th, 12th, and 16th).

The Gatewood plat of 1922 set aside a diagonal 160-foot wide strip, approximately 2,800 feet long, for the streetcar company, extending from Northwest 16th to Northwest 23rd (across the street from the edge of Oklahoma City College). Neither the December 1921 warranty deed from Flynn to the railroad, nor this dedication, specifically required the railroad to construct tracks: "To the Oklahoma Railway Company is ceded, conveyed and dedicated a strip of ground one hundred sixty (160) feet in width commencing on the South line of said Quarter Section and running Northwestwardly, as shown on said plat. The title to said land in said Oklahoma Railway Company is taken and held by said Company subject to the condition and duty on the part of the said Railway Company to build and maintain crossings over its tracks at the streets shown on the annexed plat, but wherever it shall sub-merge its tracks, or place same in a cut through said premises, it shall then construct bridges to carry 16th Street and 18th Street and a connecting street between 19th and 20th Streets over its tracks and shall likewise carry its tracks by means of a bridge over 23rd Street."[2]

In the Gatewood plat, west of the railway strip, there was located a half-block of house lots facing North Indiana Avenue, interrupted by cross streets at Northwest 18th Street and Northwest 21st Street. East of the strip, between Northwest 16th and 21st, there was a half-block of house lots facing North Gatewood Avenue; and, from Northwest 21st to 23rd there was a parcel where the Gatewood School was built in 1927.

North of Northwest 23rd Street and west of the Oklahoma City University campus, M.J. Straight had acquired several parcels, but there were gaps, and the railway company never took ownership of the land.

A "temporary" single track was built at grade from Linwood Boulevard to the south side of Northwest 16th Street. By April 1929, the interurban had not been built, so the city reopened the vacated streets. The railway sold off lots adjacent to the tracks within its wide right-of-way. By 1943, parcels the track occupied were sold into lots. All streetcars and interurbans had ceased operations in Oklahoma City by the end of 1947. Remnants of the tracks are still visible at street crossings, including locations west of Blackwelder Avenue.

Right-of-way sold, Carey Place built.

Beginning in 1929, the interurban right-of-way from Northwest 16th to 23rd was sold to a succession of owners, with part being developed for commercial property, part being platted and developed for standard house lots, and part being developed for the non-standard development along a new street, Carey Place. All but one of the properties on Carey Place was built between 1931 and 1938, during the Great Depression and a time of expansion for Oklahoma City real estate.

In the 1922 Gatewood plat, Northwest 17th Street did not exist between Gatewood and Indiana avenues. In August 1928 and May 1929, the owners of Gatewood Addition lots and the Oklahoma Railway Company sold the land to the city to put through that block of Northwest 17th.

In April 1929, Oklahoma Railway Company transferred to G.A. Nichols, Inc. all the 160-foot strip except Northwest 17th Street itself and a 30-foot strip from Northwest 16th to 17th on the east edge of the right-of-way. In May 1929, Streeter B. Flynn quitclaimed (released his interests in) the same land to Nichols, thus lifting any perceived requirement that tracks be installed. Dr. G.A. Nichols was one of Oklahoma City's principal developers and builders in the 1920s and 1930s; he constructed many homes in Gatewood, and developed Crown Heights (NR 1995) and Nichols Hills. In April 1929, Nichols transferred the NW 16th Street frontage of the strip (less the east 30 feet) to Louise B. Kinney, who built storefronts.

In February 1930, G.A. Nichols, Inc. platted Block B of Gatewood Addition, consisting of the railroad right-of-way from Northwest 21st to 23rd. Nichols had acquired an additional 15 feet from the side of the school property, for a total of 175 feet, thus permitting lots 125 feet deep (about 20 to 30 feet shallower than usual) facing east onto a 50-foot street right-of-way. The lots are 50 or 55 feet wide, a typical dimension. The plat dedication granted the Northwest 21st and 23rd (south half) crossings to the public.

In May and July 1930, G.A. Nichols, Inc. transferred the 160-foot strip between Northwest 18th and 21st to Callaway, Carey & Foster, Inc., which was also a major builder in Gatewood, constructing "Blue Ribbon Homes." Company president J.S. Callaway's home was one block east, at 2124 Gatewood Avenue. Callaway, Carey & Foster, Inc.'s address was the same as that of Carey Lumber Company, for which Carey Place was named.

In December 1930, Warren E. Moore surveyed the 160-foot strip from Northwest 21st Street to one-half block south of Northwest 17th Street, labeling it "Carey Place." Moore, a civil engineer, had for many years done plat surveys for major developments. The blocks were labeled "C," from Northwest 18th to 21st (20 lots), "D," from 17th to 18th (10 lots), and "E," the south side of 17th, less the easternmost 30 feet (2 parcels). Lots on Blocks C and D were 91 feet wide and 70 feet deep, with a 20-foot street in the middle. Contrary to common practice (and for reasons undetermined), the property owners never officially filed the survey as a plat.[3] In February 1931, Nichols and Callaway, Carey & Foster granted "an easement for private road purposes" 20 feet wide through Blocks C and D. Blocks C and D constitute the Carey Place Historic District.

In June 1931, Nichols transferred Blocks D and E to Callaway, Carey & Foster; he also sold them all of the lots in Block B of Gatewood Addition.

From March 1931 to January 1932, Callaway, Carey & Foster sold lots to individuals, and several properties had homes built on them. By February 1932, Callaway, Carey & Foster, Inc. had transferred all but one of its remaining lots to Carey, Lombard, Young & Co. The latter company was the corporate name of Carey Lumber, a prominent supplier of home building materials until after World War II. In July 1932, Callaway, Carey & Foster's remaining property at 2124 Carey Place, with a house built upon it, was foreclosed, and sold by the Sheriff. From January 1932 to August 1938, Carey, Lombard, Young sold the remaining lots, including five to Jess A. Woolf. Woolf, who built his own home at 1901 Carey Place in 1937, is known to have built on at least twelve other properties on Carey Place, for a total of eighteen buildings.

In March 1933 and October 1934, Oklahoma Railway Company transferred its last property of the 160-foot strip, the 30-foot strip between Northwest 16th and 17th, to W.T. Laughlin, who constructed a commercial building facing 16th Street. The north part of the 30-foot strip remains vacant. Block E was developed as apartments after World War II.

Ten of the thirty properties in the Carey Place Historic District were developed in 1931 and 1932; 19 properties (including six with garage apartments) were built from 1936 to 1938; and one was built in 1948. Three buildings have been significantly altered, thus are considered noncontributing to the Carey Place Historic District. The 1948 building, though unaltered, is noncontributing because it was constructed after the period of significance.

Architectural Significance

The Carey Place Historic District is included in the National Register for its architectural significance as an outstanding cohesive local example of 1930s masonry veneer houses, mostly painted white and of Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style. All but one of the properties were built in two groups, 1931-32, and 1936-38, with the latter group having more predominant features of the style. The earlier group has elements of Tudor Revival, the predominant style of the surrounding Gatewood Addition; those elements include rounded arches and wide front chimneys common to both styles. Other styles represented in Carey Place include Minimal Traditional, Colonial Revival, and Ranch. Most properties have white painted masonry, unlike the surrounding neighborhood; the white paint provides a unifying influence upon the Carey Place Historic District, as do the brick fences at the ends of the blocks.

The decade of the 1930s links the exuberant 1920s styles (Craftsman, high-styled Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival) to the industrialized post-World War II suburban developments. The national economic shift from the 1920s prosperity to the Depression provided the impetus for changes in homes designed for middle-class buyers. At the end of the 1920s, traditional styles such as Colonial Revival, French Eclectic, Tudor Revival, and Spanish-influenced styles continued to be popular with an "emphasis on texture and picturesqueness."[4] However, by the mid-1930s homes were smaller and more simply designed. "The picturesque, romantic, medieval, hand-wrought character (was) replaced by the more precise and machinelike, with emphasis upon proportion and mass rather than detail."[5] Eliminated from most plans were servant's quarters, separate dining areas, and breakfast nooks. These rooms were replaced with dining alcoves incorporated with the living room, attached garages, and the possibility of a recreation room in the half-story attic rather than the basement.

The predominant style of the Carey Place Historic District is Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival. This designation consists of a group of Spanish styles of the United States in the early twentieth century, of which three distinctive styles have been identified:[6]

Mission — Mission-shaped dormer or roof parapet (these may be on either main roof or porch roof); commonly with red tile roof covering; widely overhanging eaves, usually open; porch roofs supported by large, square piers, commonly arched above; wall surface usually smooth stucco.

Spanish Eclectic — low-pitched roof, usually with little or no eave overhang; red tile roof covering; typically with one or more prominent arches placed above door or principal window, or beneath porch roof; wall surface usually stucco; facade normally asymmetrical.

Monterey — Two stories, with low-pitched gabled roof (occasionally hipped); second-story balcony, usually cantilevered and covered by principal roof.

The Carey Place properties most closely fit a simplified version of the Spanish Eclectic style, with the major differences being the composition (originally wood shingle) roofs instead of tile, and walls usually of brick or stone instead of stucco — although the white paint used on almost all the buildings enhances an illusion of smooth walls. The Spanish Eclectic style gained popularity after the Panama-California Exposition of 1915, in San Diego. The exhibition designer sought to go beyond the Mission interpretations to include other Spanish designs found throughout Latin America. During the 1920s, many new communities in Florida and southern California were planned in the style.[7] Jess A. Woolf, who was a sales representative for Callaway, Carey & Foster, Inc. (owner of Carey Place in the early 1930s), visited southern California and was impressed with the style. In 1936 and 1937 Woolf himself built half the properties in the district, including 1801, 1808 (& 1812), 1809 (& 1811), 1816 (& 1820), 1824 (& 1828), 1831 (& 1837), 1832 (& 1836), 1900, 1901 (his own home for over 45 years), 1908, 1917, and 2024 Carey Place.

Other Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival styles in the Carey Place Historic District are represented by the house at 1908 Carey Place, which has an overhanging balcony typical of the Monterey style. The prominent front parapet of 2108 Carey Place is of the Mission style; other properties with the curved parapets are at 1824 and 2111.

Five buildings are of the Minimal Traditional style, all built 1937 or 1938. These are one-and-one-half- or two-story homes, typically with a masonry first floor and wood (weatherboard or shingles, sometimes covered with siding) second floor. They have simplified ornament derived from earlier styles such as Colonial Revival.

The brick fences at the ends of each block of Carey Place enhance the sense that one is entering a unique location. Such devices are popular at entries to modern subdivisions, but were rare in Oklahoma City when Carey Place was built. It was used at one location contemporary to Carey Place: Spanish Village, (NR 1983).

In Oklahoma City, residential use of the Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style is rare in neighborhoods of the first half of the twentieth century. Such buildings are scattered throughout. In the Jefferson Park Historic District (NR 1995), about 10% of the buildings are of the Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style and a cluster of apartment buildings there is probably the largest local concentration outside of Carey Place. The use of the style for a commercial area is part of what makes Spanish Village (NR 1983) distinctive.

Community Planning and Development Significance

Carey Place Historic District is significant for community planning and development as an atypical combination of narrow street pavement, short front setbacks, and shallow and wide lots. The design was a creative use of limited 160-foot-wide area. It is one of few examples in Oklahoma City; the other examples are all smaller, and some have less integrity. Other additions constructed in Oklahoma City used standard-width streets and typical lot dimensions; thus the pattern of Carey Place was not a trend-setter locally. Carey Place Historic District is also significant as an infill use after a community development plan that failed — the interurban railroad. Applications for similar current development are limited.

Carey Place was created from a 160-foot strip, about 1450 feet long in two blocks, remaining from abandoned plans for a rail right-of-way. With the street pavement down the middle being 20 feet wide, the properties are 70 feet deep from street to the rear of the property. Buildings are set back about 20 feet from the pavement. Most lots are 91 feet wide. Most houses are squarish, slightly wider than deep.

Carey Place did not serve as a model for development in Oklahoma City of the 1930s. Other contemporary additions, such as Crown Heights (NR 1995) and Shepherd (NR 1997) historic districts, have lots mostly of standard dimensions. Developers of those additions had enough land (160 and 80 acres, respectively) to plat several blocks of parallel streets; they did not use the Carey Place pattern, but laid out streets largely following the predominant grid pattern of the city. More typical for the older parts of Oklahoma City are the lot dimensions for the surrounding Gatewood Addition (platted 1922): Those lots are 50 to 70 feet wide, 146 feet or more deep, with street pavement approximately 28 feet wide on a right-of-way of 60 or 70 feet, with buildings set back 25 feet from the right-of-way (thus more than 40 feet from the curb). There were no alleys. Most houses are deeper than they are wide.

In the 1930s, there were three other developments with narrow streets and shallow lots similar to Carey Place. They all had confined land dimensions. Aurora Court, begun 1930, is one mile west of Carey Place; it consisted of 22 modest frame houses facing a platted alley in a deep block with commercial development on one side; only 12 houses remain. Military Court, begun 1931, is two miles northeast of Carey Place; on a dead-end lane it has 8 of 10 original buildings, with one newer addition. Northwest 42nd Place is one-and-one-half miles north of Carey Place, where four deep lots running through a block were redivided. Begun in 1936, it retains its integrity with all ten original buildings; these are masonry houses similar to its surrounding neighborhood. Carey Place, with 30 lots, is the largest and most intact example of these developments. Military Court and Aurora Court have smaller houses than Carey Place; their construction most likely did not influence their contemporary, Carey Place. Northwest 42nd Place, however, has similar massing to Carey Place and was built at the same time as the second wave of construction on Carey Place, which may have influenced its design.

A standard solution to development of housing in a long, 160-foot-wide strip would have been to run the street down one side of the property instead of the center. The result would have been 27 lots of 50-foot width; these would be shallower than the surrounding neighborhood.

Carey Place Historic District provides a built example of the spatial effects of a non-standard lot and street configuration. Dense layouts sometimes are also designed to create a more urban feel than the standard layouts. More recent proposals to develop "affordable housing" sometimes include subdivision layouts which reduce the lot sizes and/or amount of street pavement per house. Interestingly, although Carey Place has smaller lots, it actually requires more street paving.

The design of Carey Place was a creative response for infill of a confined strip of land. Additionally, the cohesiveness of the architecture in the Carey Place Historic District creates an easily identifiable neighborhood apart from the larger surrounding Gatewood neighborhood. As such, the Carey Place Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its local architectural and community planning and development significance.


[1]Oklahoma City Ordinance No. 2205, May 18, 1920.

[2]Oklahoma County Deed Records. Gatewood Addition plat, January 13, 1922.

[3]The Carey Place survey was filed in the Miscellaneous Records, book 141, page 622.

[4]House Beautiful. February 1935, p. 52, 53, 70.


[6]Virginia and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985, pp.408-433.

[7]Ibid, p. 418.


Blumenson, John J.G. Identifying American Architecture. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1981.

The Daily Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Flynn, Streeter B. [Jr.]. Interview by John R. Calhoun, October 30, 1997. Mr. Flynn's father platted the Gatewood Addition.

House Beautiful. February, 1935, pp. 52, 53, 70.

McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.

Oklahoma City City Directory. 1920-1985.

Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. Deed Records.

Oklahoma Landmarks Inventory, Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office. The Carey Place file includes surveys from the late 1970s, some building permit dates, style information, and newspaper clippings from the 1970s and 1980s.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, Oklahoma City, 1919, 1947, 1955.

Thompson, Jean. Interview by John R. Calhoun, November 9, 1997. Ms. Thompson's family moved to 1930 Northwest 22nd in 1930 when she was a child; she walked from there to Gatewood School, past the north end of Carey Place.

Whiffen, Marcus. American Architecture Since 1780. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 1969.

‡ John R. Calhoun, City of Oklahoma City, Carey Place Historic District, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, nomination document, 1998, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Carey Place

Home | Whats New | Site Index | Contact
Privacy | Disclaimer

Copyright © 1997-2024, The Gombach Group