Tulsa County Fairgrounds Armory

Location Class:
Built: 1940s | Abandoned: 1940s
Status: Saved
Contributor: Preservation Oklahoma
Year(s) Listed:

The significance of the Tulsa Armory stems from its date of construction and its enormous size, among other things. Tulsa was not among those scheduled for an armory in 1936, in part because the WPA supported other projects and in part because Tulsa was strongly Republican in politics and armory selection was controlled by Democratic officials in Oklahoma City. The clear need for job opportunities for Tulsa’s umemployed and the willingness of Tulsa County to lease land at no cost to the state as a site for the armory cleared the way for the construction of the project. Construction poured into the local business economy wages from more than 250,000 man-hours of labor. But the construction of the armory was late and it was on land not owned by the state, a most unique situation. Architecturally, the Tulsa is notable for its size, one of the two largest in the state–and thus one of the two largest WPA construction projects in Oklahoma. It is significant militarily in that the Armory provided a most timely place where units of the 45th Infantry Division could train before shipping out for North Africa and Italy early in World War II. The relationship between training facilities and the success of the division during the war is obvious. (Photo by History Exchange)

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