Page Woodson

198
City/Town: Oklahoma City
Location Class: School
Year Built: 1910
Year Abandoned: 1994
Status: Restored
Photojournalist: Cody CooperJustin Tyler MooreMichael Schwarz

1910 Lowell Elementary

Lowell School

Originally built as the Lowell School in 1910, this date was engraved above the west entrance. It quickly grew in enrollment Students were held to a standard of morality and hygiene and teachers cared about keeping students on track. Some teachers even taking polls of which students brushed their teeth and telling them if they didn’t they would lose their social class cast. The Oklahoma City Times 01 Nov 1922, reported “When a boy plays truant, he usually gets into trouble and the police officers get him. He goes up before the judge and then reform school. It was such a case as this last year in Lowell School, that took Mrs. Anna Burks Love, principal, down to the courthouse to beg clemency of the judge. The lad was paroled to Mrs. Love.” Holmboe Construction was given a contract for an addition to Lowell School, work commenced on July 17, 1919, and the crew was given 120 days to complete it.

1933 Douglass High School

“The Pirates of Penzance,” by Gilbert & Sullivan, Operetta performed by Douglas High School students, Oklahoma City, OK, directed by Mrs. Zelia N. Breaux. Photo by G.E. Ginter, Oklahoma City, OK, c.1937.

Another addition of twenty-nine rooms, a pool, a gymnasium, auditorium and a stage was added onto Lowell as “Douglass High School” at a price of $195,000. A two-sided cornerstone was laid for the new building reading;

Let there be light
Laid by
The Most Worshipful
St. John Grand Lodge
of the State of Oklahoma


Inman E. Page
Principal of the Separate Schools
Advisory Committee
to the Board of Education
George R. Ragland Chairman
W.L. Vaughn / E.W. Perry
J.J. Dawson / L.C. Cleaves
J.J. Josephs / E. W. Caruthers
E.R. Richards / J.D. Nelson
A.D. 1933 / W.L. Haywood

Douglass High School Drum Corps, directed by Mrs. Zelia N. Breaux, Oklahoma City, OK. L to R: Front: 1-2. UNIDENTIFIED, 3. June Bennett, 4. UNIDENTIFIED, 5. Vivian Moon, 2nd Step: 3. Murdire Morrow, 6. Barbara, 3rd Row: 2. Thelma Jones, Back Row: 3. Burleigh, c.1946. Photo by Pendley, Oklahoma City, OK.

The name was officially changed to just Douglass High School, a separate school for the community of Oklahoma City. Unlike any other separate school in the area, the Douglass High School Trojans were the most elite programs, best facility, and most reputable students and staff. Monumental in size and pride the school stood out in the Black community rather than be hidden amongst industrial buildings like previous schools that bore the same name. The school is significant today as it is the oldest school still in existence in Oklahoma City, used for the purpose of segregating African American students from white students. In 1955, Douglass High School was renamed to F.D. Moon Middle School after its principal and it wasn’t long before it was renamed again in 1960 as Woodson School whose mascot was a wildcat. A tragedy occurred in the swimming pool in April of 1966 when a student tragically drowned. He was rushed to an ambulance by firemen and attendants.

1975 Page Woodson Fifth-Year Center

Woodson Wildcats play soccer during PE class ca. April 28, 1978

In 1975, the school was renamed Page Woodson not very different from its last name and operated as a  fifth-year center. Fifth-year centers were experimented with in Oklahoma City and most failed due to dispersion of population and desegregation, there weren’t enough students to fill the giant schools Columbus Elementary is another example of this. One year before closing the school implemented an acceleration center for students that were in danger of having to repeat the year. But the fact that it was a fifth-year center proved to be the reason for Page Woodson’s closing in 1994. The community refused to give up on the more than a century old school, even though fires had been set throughout the years of its abandonment. In 2015, two fires were intentionally set and thankfully firefighters were able to arrive on the scene early enough to put it out without significant damage.

But because of the fires and amount of decay from years of abandonment, renovation costs were estimated to be around $5 million, something the community wouldn’t be able to raise by themselves. With the help of James Bradshaw who bought the school and of Gina Sofola, liaison for the project development was underway to make it affordable housing. 

Page Woodson / Douglass High School – Restored! – Micro-Doc

– Produced by Michael Schwarz (Prairie Nation Creative, LLC)

https://www.pagewoodsonokc.com/

 

Gallery Below




Bibliography

“1 Nov 1922, 6 – The Oklahoma City Times at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/612428181/?terms=Lowell%2Bschool.

“12 Jul 1919, Page 1 – The Oklahoma City Times at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/174847427/?terms=lowell%2Bschool%2Baddition.

“14 Mar 1999, 498 – The Daily Oklahoman at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/454391528/?terms=page%2Bwoodson%2Bschool.

“19 Jul 1993, 64 – The Daily Oklahoman at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/453603392/?terms=page%2Bwoodson%2Bschool.

“21 Sep 1933, 1 – The Oklahoma News at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/594902459/?terms=lowell%2Bschool%2Baddition.

“30 Jun 1910, 8 – The Daily Oklahoman at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, www.newspapers.com/image/441316053/?terms=Lowell%2Bschool.

“[Photograph 2012.201.B0975.0202].” The Gateway to Oklahoma History, 28 Apr. 1978, gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc1292847/?q=page%20woodson.

“History.” Affordable Modern Apartments | Page Woodson Apartments, www.pagewoodsonokc.com/history.

 

 

 

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NUFF SAID
NUFF SAID
8 years ago

.

Pattycake603
Pattycake603
8 years ago

Been inside there twice, and I really don't think the place is haunted. If you feel someone watching you from the outside, there IS! The lady that lives behind the school will call the police on you in a heartbeat, if she doesn't chase you off herself. That school should be on the historical register. It was the finest state of the art high school of it's time. The teachers were top notch educators and it was the classiest "colored" school of it's time. I'm proud that Oklahoma even in the old days really did right by the "colored" students… Read more »

Tim
Tim
8 years ago

I was a student there around 1984. It makes me sad to see the shape it's in now. It doesn't surprise me, since it's in a rough area, but I have so many fond memories of the place. I'm a teacher now and a big reason that I chose this profession is because of Mr. Birch. He made school fun and we learned so much. I've tried finding him on Facebook to thank him, but have not been able to find him. I'll never forget my first experiences with computers and Mr. Ed teaching us BASIC programming. We had a… Read more »

Trey Golightly
Trey Golightly
Reply to  Tim
8 years ago

I remember Mr. Birch! I had him for science, but I had homeroom across the hallway in Mr. Jones' room in 84-85. I lived in SE OKC and was bussed all the way over to the NE part of town. I didn't know any better back then. Didn't even question it. An experience most anyone that attended Page Woodson 5th year center will never forget! By the way, the pool was creepy even back then!

christy
christy
Reply to  Tim
6 years ago

I kinda remember Mr. Birch, I went there in 89, Mrs Maxwell was my home room teacher, I also remember Mrs Cappo… teacher wise, Mr. Payne too, he was the music teacher!!! I loved the school and have great memories there!!! Its a shame it got neglected, I hope they can rebuild it one day!!! Yes the pool lwas creepy!! I heard someone drowned there and stuff???

Roy Barrett
Reply to  Tim
5 years ago

This is a way delayed reply but I attended in 1989 and Mr. Ed taught me LOGO and BASIC. I've owned, sold, and have ran tech for companies globally since then. I remember doing the egg drop thing, and also building a space station and thinking we would colonize the moon by 1997. I forgot his assistants name in PROMISE but she told us we may live until the year 3000. Maybe thinking a little too big. I came back here because I saw a 4 year old "secret millionaire" rerun that had PW in it. What's Mr Eds last… Read more »

donita
donita
8 years ago

be really careful,,,i drove by it last week and i noticed alot of cops and security in the area….i assume to catch folks going in.

Nathan cradduck
Nathan cradduck
8 years ago

this place is a 100 Percent haunted, i haven't been there in about a year but i went there about three times, and the very last time i went there we heard weird noises when we went into the auditorium. If you stood looking out on the at the seats it was to your right we didn't go look, to see what it was. We were just to freaked out to go look. My friend Tyler said lets go to the third floor to some room. so we went there nothing happened. So he said lets go back to the… Read more »

Chris
Chris
9 years ago

I want this school!!!

Lady Lelouch
Lady Lelouch
9 years ago

They have disclaimers all over this site that state not to enter these buildings.

Lyndsey
Reply to  Lady Lelouch
7 years ago

Not only that but they don't give addresses to these places. They give general areas but this isn't some obscure building in middleofnowhere, oklahoma. If someone wanted to find it they wouldn't be hard pressed to do so.

Brea
Brea
9 years ago

we went not too long ago and we took a digital recorder with us and got a lot of things that we couldn't explain… so I don't know.

sara
sara
Reply to  Brea
8 years ago

like what

sara
sara
Reply to  Brea
8 years ago

what did u find am interested

Brea
Brea
Reply to  sara
7 years ago

http://gatesguardian.tumblr.com/post/63628487586

i posted the club and explanation here on my blog.

alesha russell
alesha russell
9 years ago

OMG this school looks like it was built way better than the schools today a big auditorium a pool wow why wouldn't they just restore it because apparently it has alot of history!I would love to see it be restored and even used as a school today!
I have never been there but by the looks of the broken glass and things that seem dangerous I wouldn't want to go in there unless it be with a tour group would love to learn the history behind the walls!

Zer
Zer
9 years ago

I've been here 4 or 5 times now. I'm somewhat convinced this place is haunted. First off, haunted or not, this building is worth checking out. It's extremely creepy (which is why I can see people instantly assume it's haunted), there's rooms that look like something out of Silent Hill, it's just a fun place to explore. That being said, I have had a few creepy instances. The first instance occurred when I was walking down the hallway, I heard a loud noise at the end of the hallway, what sounded like breaking glass, followed by a second noise to… Read more »

donita
donita
9 years ago

has anyone been up there lately???? just asking! not going up there!!!

angel
angel
Reply to  donita
8 years ago

yesssss

donita
donita
Reply to  angel
8 years ago

what did you find?

mekenna
mekenna
Reply to  donita
8 years ago

i found alot of broken glass and 3 pedgens… there seems to b somethin up whit the number 3…oh and me and my 2 friends were recording and the pic in the cam turned purple at one point and then froz but u could still hear us… creepy shit man oh and we all had shit touch us …and we asked it questions and we were geting responses…ohhh annnnnddddd we saw a lil girl on the 3d floor..but thats all lol

donita
donita
Reply to  mekenna
8 years ago

wow….that place is really haunted and full of spirits,,,,,i drove by it but will not go back into it again,,,,to scared,,,,they are all over the school,,,especially in the basement area…..

key30
key30
Reply to  donita
8 years ago

I agree donita.. I went to school here in 89-91 and it was an amazing experience.. I did hear about the girl drowning in the pool. also about 2 years ago my sister and i decided to go in and she wanted to go all over the school, i made it to the second floor and peeked into the auditorum.. and told her i was ready to go.. If the school still had power i would have wanted to stay and look. but some parts was pitch black and we went in the day time.. anywho.. my grandmother lived directly… Read more »

donita
donita
Reply to  key30
7 years ago

i drove by there not too long ago and tht face appeared in the window as if it remembered me from before,,,,,i got such a bad feeling that i couldnt get out….they need to just tear it down,,,

donita
donita
9 years ago

i dnt blame u @all…im not going back

Steven
Steven
9 years ago

And how the heck did the wizard of wor game get in there?!?!

Steven
Steven
9 years ago

In the office theres a safe or somethin like that, we needa find out wats in that!!!!

lyndsey
9 years ago

i went here yesterday with two of my friends and my boyfriend. it was shut down due to lead paint and asbestos being present. we were probably in there for a good hour. made it through most of the school. didn't make it to the pool though which i really wanted to see. i got plenty of amazing pictures. then the cops caught us. felonies and jail time were threatened. but in the end they let us go. it truly is in an incredible building and i'm glad i got the chance to go in. i definitely will never be… Read more »

Jason Dickinson
Jason Dickinson
9 years ago

I drove by the school today to look at the building from the outside it is a huge and empty place. I was ok until i drove up in the parking lot on the south side of the building. There i started to feel as if someone or something was watching me seeing if i was going to get out of my truck and venture into the building. Mind you this is in the middle of the day. I was alone in my truck and there was no one else around that i could see. I was there for about… Read more »

donita
donita
Reply to  Jason Dickinson
9 years ago

im glad that someone believes in the bad vibes and things@this place…… :)^_^

donita
donita
Reply to  Jason Dickinson
9 years ago

i know how u feel and i know what u are talking about,,,,,that happened to me when i decided to go for the first time alone,,,,

Allison Cook
Allison Cook
Reply to  Jason Dickinson
9 years ago

if you look at the 42nd picture there 11th row down, 2nd picture, in the far left window on top it looks like there is a person standing in there… AHH scary, i was freaked out when i saw that, i think im too much of a scardy cat to go visit that, mostly cuz the cops and ofcourse ghostssss

donita
donita
Reply to  Allison Cook
9 years ago

it is a very bad place…….is that one of window next to the stairs??

donita
donita
9 years ago

not sure why the pics are "debunked". when i zoomed the pics, i did see faces in the orbes and i did see actual images of people….. the only way to give proof of "NEGATIVE VIBES IN THE BUILDING WILL WEAKINING YOUR LIGHTS" (..not yelling by the way.) is to go back to the school with a video recorder and i will not go inside of it. even standing across the street from it spooks me. after what happened, i choose not to ghost hunt..by the way, if its not haunted, then why is it listed on this site as… Read more »

biznesschic
biznesschic
9 years ago

Glad I found this site. As an African American native who grew up in OKC, I know this area well. My aunt graduated from the old Douglass high school back in the mid 1940’s. She was a majorette in the band. An interesting tidbit: The actual football stadium was located 2 blocks southeast from the school. The street was shut down on home games days, so the band could march the 2 blocks to the football field. I remember playing in that abandoned stadium as a child, when the new Douglass high school was build on what was the old… Read more »

Zee
Zee
9 years ago

I went out here to look at it and it was a beautiful building. If it is supposedly “patrolled” then there were no cops out there when we went, because there was a lot of movement in the building. There was a creepy feeling at the fence as we looked in. Can’t wait to go back!

Niara
Niara
9 years ago

I went there lasnight and it was very creepy.No sign of ghosts but there were people there.I was only scared that some crackhead would stab me or something.but yea i plan on goin back,hopfully.

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