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National and State Registers of Historic Places

Oakley High School Stadium

Picture of property 118 West 7th Street
Oakley (Logan County)
Listed in National Register Apr 9, 2013

Architect: Marshon, Lewis (builder), WPA Labor
Category: sports facility
Thematic Nomination: New Deal-era Resources of Kansas

The construction of Oakley High School Stadium in 1938 was financed through the New Deal-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) and has hosted football games and track meets since its completion in 1939. Lewis Mershon was the lead builder and used a team of unskilled WPA laborers made up of financially struggling local farmers. The limestone and concrete stadium faces a standard 100-yard football field with natural grass surface encircled by a 400-meter track and includes two locker rooms, restrooms, a tornado shelter, and outdoor bleacher seating. It exhibits symmetry, vertical and horizontal lines, and rounded features, all of which gives it a WPA Moderne appearance. The stadium was first used on October 6, 1939 for the first home football game of the season between the Oakley Plainsmen and the Colby Eagles. Although the local newspaper reminded readers that Oakley had defeated Colby "seven times in the last eleven years," the Plainsmen were "trounced" by the "powerful" Eagles. It was nominated as part of the New Deal-era Resources of Kansas multiple property submission for its local significance in the areas of recreation, government, and architecture.

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