Alva Review-Courier -

Alva pool, bathhouse receive National Register designation


December 23, 2022

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Alva Municipal Swimming Pool and Bathhouse is one of two locations recently added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), according to the Oklahoma Historical Society and State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

Once known as the “Little Ocean,” the Alva Municipal Swimming Pool and Bathhouse is an important landmark that symbolizes the importance of New Deal programs to Alva’s historic development. Completed by the Works Projects Administration (WPA) in 1940, the property served a dual purpose of alleviating economic hardship resulting from the Great Depression and providing Alva with a recreational facility. The swimming pool is 200 feet long with a capacity of over 500,000 gallons of water. A smaller, circular-shaped wading pool and concrete gazebo are also on the property. The one-story bathhouse is notable for its poured concrete construction and Art Moderne features that include fluted pilasters with beveled corners, horizontal fenestration, and low relief ornamentation around the main entrance. Together, the swimming pool and bathhouse are exemplary examples of the WPA’s efforts to utilize modern architectural designs in their construction of municipal structures for local communities in northwest Oklahoma.

The second location listed is St. Ann’s Home for the Aged, 3825 NW 19th St., in Oklahoma City.

Listing in the National Register of Historic Places is an honorific designation that provides recognition, limited protection, and, in some cases, financial incentives for these important properties. The SHPO identifies, evaluates and nominates properties for this special designation.


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