Museum Exhibit Showcases Edmond Architecture

Photo provided by the Edmond Historical Society website.

As an attempt to educate visitors on the various architectural styles in Edmond, the Edmond Historical Society and Museum is hosting Steeples and Stones: An Exhibit of Edmond’s Architecture through March 2020.

“It’s important to tell the history of these places, so people will be more inclined to repurpose them,” said Allison Pittman, exhibit coordinator at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum. “New is great, but our history comes from older buildings.”

The exhibit displays Edmond’s growth since it was founded on April 22, 1889.

“When I was designing the exhibit, my central purpose was to tell the history of Edmond through architecture,” Pittman said.

An Edmond native and UCO alumna, Pittman said that through the creation of the exhibit, she learned many things about her hometown.

“Getting to actually learn more about the buildings, when they were built, who built them, who lived and worked there was really interesting,” Pittman said.

Pittman worked alongside Amy Stephens, the museum director; Derek Lee, the curator of collections; and designer Jay Tracy. The exhibit is sponsored by Brent Gibson, owner of Gibson Classic Home Design.

According to Lee, there are various artifacts on display that once belonged to historic buildings around Edmond.

“In addition to photos, we have light fixtures from turn-of-the century homes and stained glass from the Edmond First Church of the Nazarene,” Lee said. “We have a sign from the first elementary school that was on Second St. and Walnut St.”

Also featured in the exhibit are pictures of architect Jack Nessbaum’s work in the 1970s. Most of his architecture is midcentury in style.

Visitors of the exhibit can learn about the historic Clegern House. Built in 1928 by Max Thomas, the 4,100-square-foot home was designed to have a unique aesthetic from the klinker brick to the cypress fireplace mantle. The creation of the home was inspired by Harry W. Clegern’s attempt to live closer to his work and convince his wife, Dixie, to move with him.

After some reluctancy, Dixie designed what was her dream home after a March 1928 issue of “House and Garden” magazine.

Pittman said she hopes visitors of the exhibit leave with a better understanding of the progression of Edmond and the story of the city in general.

“I am a proponent for anybody going to museums whether big or small, because I don’t think enough people get out and learn about the places they live and visit,” Pittman said. “There are people I know who have grown up in Edmond and don’t even know we are here, which is sad.”

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