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Webster High Makes National Register Of Historic Places

Matt Trotter

Tulsa has a new listing on the National Register of Historic Places: Tulsa Public Schools' Webster High, located just off of Route 66.

An alumni group led a campaign to recommend the school for listing last year.

"This is just a really glorious setting on 20 acres. We have some rich architecture inside and outside. You'll see wonderful, built-in filing cabinets, you'll see intricate woodwork, beautiful lighting, and that's what makes a great school and a longstanding tradition here in west Tulsa," said Webster Principal Shelly Holman.

Webster’s art deco main building and its gym were built in 1938 as a Public Works Administration project, a New Deal agency intended to help lift the U.S. out of the Great Depression. Its stadium was built in 1941 under another Depression-era local jobs program, and the school is believed to be the first in northeast Oklahoma to integrate after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, accepting Black students in the fall of 1955.

Holman said when COVID restrictions are lifted, she looks forward to welcoming tourists seeking out historic places.

"This opportunity for us is a chance for us to shine a spotlight here in the west Tulsa community. I feel strongly that Webster High School is the pinnacle of this community, and we have so much to celebrate in this rich history and the legacies that go through here," Holman said.

Webster was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 10. Listing is the first step toward qualifying for preservation tax credits.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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