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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Enid, Oklahoma

Enid, Oklahoma, (population 48,000) is located in northwestern Oklahoma and is the county seat of Garfield County. The community was founded in 1893 by means of a land run during the Cherokee Outlet opening. Enid was once an oil industry boomtown and home to Champlin Petroleum. Today oil remains an economic factor, but cattle, industrial, and agricultural corporations are also big employers in Enid. The city has the largest grain storage capacity in the nation.

The city is also supported by a nearby military installation; Vance Air Force Base was created four miles from Enid in 1941. Enid boasts more than 30 parks and recreation areas. One of them, Government Springs Park, was originally a watering hole on the Old Chisholm Cattle Trail.

The current Enid Symphony Hall is a former Masonic Temple built by the Garfield County Masons in 1924. The building was donated to the symphony after having been in private ownership for several years. The Enid Symphony, the city of Enid, Enid residents, 40 local volunteers, and more than 50 artists from around the world recently completed a $3.2 million renovation project, turning the building into a theater and event space. Public donations, corporate sponsorship, and in-kind donations, particularly from artists, made up the primary funds. Today the building boasts a symphony hall decorated with three Swarovski chandeliers and seats salvaged from a 1930s theater from Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Also renovated were an Egyptian style lobby, and the Eleanor Hoehn Hornbaker Banquet Hall, which can be rented for weddings and other events. A virtual tour of the restored rooms can be found on the Enid Symphony’s Web site.

The community supports the Museum of the Cherokee Strip, which is located near Government Springs Park. The museum displays artifacts from the Oklahoma Land Run as well as other items that document and preserve the culture that has developed in Enid. The H.H. Champlin Mansion in Enid, built in 1939 by the richest man in town, oilman and banker H. H. Champlin, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Enid Historical Preservation Board is responsible for creating, organizing, and sponsoring historic preservation activities within the city. The city of Enid’s Code Department works with the board to keep a list of historic properties and enforce preservation review authorizing repairs, improvements, and construction within the Waverly and Kenwood Historic Districts. Each year the city gives out an Enid Historical Preservation Award to a resident with the best preservation project.

Enid became a Main Street City in 1994 and has been recognized locally, statewide, and nationally as one of the premier programs in the country. Property owners, business owners, professionals, and volunteers serve on the board of directors and on various committees addressing issues such as facade improvements, special events, fundraising, networking, and resource sharing. Since 1994 more than $12 million has been spent on downtown improvements.

For more information

City of Enid: www.enid.org

Enid Symphony: www.nidsymphony.uniqhorns.com

Main Street Enid: www.mainstreetenid.org

Posted March 16, 2009

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