We don’t have a commuter train taking folks from downtown Oklahoma City to the Plaza District anymore. Those tracks were removed long ago. For now, you still have to drive yourself home. But if you want, home can be a short walk from the popular commercial district. Just like it was for so many almost a century ago. Plaza District History
The residential area north of the Plaza District is often referred to as Gatewood. However, the area is actually two distinct historical districts that can be divided along Florida Avenue. The Gatewood Historical District is on the west and the University Historical District is on the east. While commonly referred to as a historical district, I do not believe any of the homes are on the National Registry of Historic Places and it is not a Historic Preservation District (HP).
Visit the area and you will likely see folks out walking their dog or riding bikes along the marked bike routes. There are three schools nestled in the community; Rosary Catholic School (private K-8), Gatewood Elementary (OKCPS PreK-5), and Classen School for Advanced Studies (OKCPS Magnet School 6-12).
The streets of the Gatewood District are lined with cozy bungalows and statuesque tudors that were built in the1920’s through the 1940’s. Today many have undergone renovations that have added modern conveniences while maintaining their classic appeal. A typical home in the area has between 1700 and 2600 square feet of living space. Most now have central heat and air and detached garages.
Most of the homes in the University Historical District were built before the homes in Gatewood. Construction began at the turn of the century and continued into the 1920’s. You will notice that the architectural style is different on this side of the district. You will find prairie homes, colonials, and yes craftsmen bungalows. These homes come in a wide range of sizes; 1000 square feet to more than 2700 square feet of living space. Renovations are commonplace but garages are not.
Here’s a fun fact. The locally famous Carey Place can be found on the east side of this historical area. It’s a narrow street with a couple dozen homes built in the 1930’s. Most are the Spanish style that was popular in California at the time. Russ Tall Chief wrote a great article about Carey Place for Slice a couple years ago. You can read it here.
Next week, I’ll wrap up the Plaza District series with FOOD! Yep, saving the best for last. Help me out. Do you have a favorite restaurant in the Plaza that I need to try? Shh, it’s research. Let me know in the comments below. In case you missed it, you can check out the history of the Plaza District here and Plaza District entertainment here.