Ben Franklin School (former) – Shawnee OK


The Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed the former Ben Franklin School in Shawnee, Oklahoma during the late 1930s. The Living New Deal suspects that, like Washington School, another New Deal construction Project in Shawnee, the New Deal building replaced the older Ben Franklin School building which had been constructed in 1904.

The description on the Waymarking webpage for this site reads as follows:

“This is a two-story brick school with a flat roof and concrete coping. The entrance is slightly recessed with a concrete block surround. All windows have continuous brick sills. On the first level, north of the entrance are two large bays with five windows each. The Art Deco style is enhanced with the use of vertical lines of darker colored brick. On the north side, a second level exit and a metal fire escape were added in later years. A bronze WPA plaque is located at the entrance of the building.

The entrance is slightly higher than street level, with a sandstone wall constructed across the front of the property. The building is in fair condition, with areas of disrepair, such as the concrete steps shown in the photos. Most windows are boarded up and the building appears to be vacant and not used as a school anymore, however, we did note that a window air-conditioner was operating in a window overlooking the basement entrance on the south side, so it is possible that a room might be in use in this portion of the building.

A two-sided cornerstone at the northeast corner reads:
‘Works Progress Administration Project Number 405-85-2-153 / Erected 1938-39 / A.C. Davis & Sons Architect'”


Source notes Franklin School, Shawnee, OK

Oklahoma Historic Preservation Survey Landmarks Inventory Nomination

Project originally submitted by Hamquilter on August 8, 2017.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

214 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
Shawnee, OK 74801

Coordinates: 35.325439, -96.915935

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