Red Ridge Estate

37
City/Town: Oklahoma City
Location Class: Residential
Year Built: 1934
Year Abandoned: 1990
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Cody CooperJustin Tyler Moore

Red Ridge Estate, the storied manor in northeast Oklahoma City was built in the 1920’s by R.J. Edwards.

Edwards founded R.J. Edwards Inc., purportedly the first municipal bond house west of the Mississippi, in 1892. The firm closed in the late 1980s. Some of his heirs, most of whom live far away, see Red Ridge as a place that time has passed by.

The Red Ridge compound passed decades with dignified charm as the once-rural section of the city and marched forward with development, then lurched back with decline.

The boarded-up 27-room, two-story Spanish-style mansion, and the remaining 90 acres of the estate went up for auction on Feb. 27th 2001, and was aquired by Duncan Equipment Co. and CJW Family LP, which formed a company called Red Ridge Development.

George Edwards, who is one of the heirs, said he was sad about seeing his grandparents property sold. He is full of memories about his grandparents. How his grandmother rode to the property in a chauffeured limousine, tossing daffodil bulbs, and having a gardener plant them where they fell. “The place is an explosion of springtime yellow to this day”, he said.

How in the 1960s, teen-agers called Red Ridge “the haunted house.” But no ghosts kept them from necking in cars pulled onto the lonely fields.

The Edwards mansion itself, which cost a modest $35,000 in 1934-1935 – about $450,000 in 2001 dollars – was named ” Red Ridge ” for the red sandstone ridge upon which it was built.

Each of R.J. and Sadie (Handy) Edwards’ children was offered a house and 15 acres “free and clear” upon their marriage, said Sarah (Edwards) Baltzell of Philadelphia, sister of Archibald Edwards Jr. Their father was Archibald Cason Edwards, an investment banker with R.J. Edwards Inc. and arts supporter who died at 91 in March 1998.

R.J. Edwards came to Oklahoma from Missouri before statehood, said Archibald Edwards Jr., who also provided the following information about his grandfather and the property:

Robert J. Edwards, a lawyer, was appointed as a judge at age 26. He later was a regent for what is now Oklahoma State University. Eventually, he became successful as an investment banker, specializing in the sale of municipal bonds and as a fiscal consultant to cities across Oklahoma and the Southwest. He died in 1946.

The house has stucco walls and a red tile roof. It was built by Raymond Smizer under the direction of Norman architect Harold Gimeno. Gimeno’s influence was seen in many Spanish-Style structures in Oklahoma City, including several of the houses on the Edwards estate .

During the 1960s and 1970s, Red Ridge was the home of what is now the Oklahoma Museum of Art.




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Dave
Dave
4 years ago

Allegedly, the property will ultimately be renovated, and converted into a conference center. Here's details:

http://newsok.com/article/5461420

Lisa Harris
4 years ago

I think if it is going to be torn down they should salvage as much of the wonderful doors and all that gorgeous wood as possible. Personally I would hate to see it torn down!! This is HISTORY people we have to preserve our history! I will never understand why if part of the family want to sell and part wants to buy why not just let those who want to purchase it and restore it to its original glory instead of letting it deteriorate into nothing?? Makes no sense!!

Cornell Nick
4 years ago

You made some first rate points there. I appeared on the web for the problem and found most people will go together with with your website.

Ron Mechler
5 years ago

Everything is very open with a really clear clarification of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your site is useful. Thanks for sharing!|

Coach KG
Coach KG
5 years ago

Is the Red Ridge Estate still owned by Duncan Equipment Company and CJW Family LP (Red Ridge Development)?

Richard Barnes
Richard Barnes
6 years ago

So sad to see this house remain abandoned. I hope that it is not deteriorated beyond possibility for renovation/reconstruction. It was finally sold out of the family in 2008. It had been abandoned for quite some time before then. It was last used by an insurance company, I believe; before that it housed the Okla. City Museum of Art for a time. I last visited the house in 1982, for a family reunion. It was already starting its decline at that point.

Tommy
Tommy
6 years ago

would love to have something like this place for my group home for Children

Katie
Katie
7 years ago

To anyone wanting to go check this place out, let me tell you…DON'T. Me and 3 friends were arrested here because there are alarms in the home apparently. It was awesome though. So pretty much if you don't mind police I recommend it! You can see it heading east on I-44 past broadway.

Ava
Ava
Reply to  Katie
6 years ago

@Katie, Really? how come? lol

trackback
7 years ago

[…] that you could see from Lincoln. It was a very nice place when Hoke had his office there. Abandoned Oklahoma – Red Ridge Here's couple of other links for the Townley and Bourne dairies in the area. Abandoned Oklahoma – […]

Leah
Leah
8 years ago

From the satellite view, it looks like there is a footprint of another home on the property. Were there 3 homes at one time?

Charles Edwards
Charles Edwards
9 years ago

RJ Edwards was my great-grandfather. I took my daughters to go see this place a while back. They asked if there were any ghosts here. I explained that if there were, they would only haunt them if they didn't get into a good college. Our family had a few tracts of land. We all had some good memories of the woods. I'd ask that ya'll respect the family wishes and don't go poking around there.

Abbe Rice
Abbe Rice
Reply to  Charles Edwards
7 years ago

I was going to go there but If your family wishes that people do not go I will not. I just wanted to see the beauty of the architecture. It is so unique and beautiful

Kevin
Kevin
9 years ago

I hate to see this house falling apart. We live just across the Interstate from this house and have a good view of it in the winter time. The old Braniff mansion used to be close to us but I guess it burned years ago. There were some great mansions in this area, and of course the Everett mansion is still fantastic even though it is a law firm now.

MikeN
MikeN
9 years ago

My partner and I used to recover many stolen cars from the estate prior to the gate being put up on the main road. I have always loved this residence. We were given a tour of this structure and the Preachers Wall by Ellis Edwards and his wife when they lived on the property.

Lee Smith
9 years ago

Love this. Have a Gemino house in Norman that has many of the same features as Red Ridge. So sad to such a unique home in such disrepair.

Fly on the Wall
Fly on the Wall
9 years ago

The side of the family that would be interested in restoring it and occupying it tried for decades to acquire it from the side of the family that was interested in selling out to developers. But to no avail.

David A
David A
9 years ago

My dad owned a bussiness across the steet from there homes ,i knew all the family well .

Mary D
Mary D
Reply to  David A
9 years ago

What kind of business did your father own? Having grown up on the property, I am curious as to who your father is.
Mary

Will
Will
9 years ago

Who would one contact in order to gain access to this place? It's so beautiful! Please email me and let me know if anyone knows!

Krystal
Krystal
10 years ago

I saw this and instantly fell in love.. Am very interested in doing a photoshoot (nothing professional) there.. Did you require permission to gain access to the property?

John
11 years ago

Hello,

Just like to say a great site very interesting.

I have a site called Redridge Paranormal. Its due to the village i live in in England called Rawmarsh which used to be called redmarsh for the red clay it was built on. Also running through our village is a Roman Ridge.

I was just wondering if i could put a link to your site on our website. We cant believe how big America is to the point you have loads of places abandoned its great.

Hope to ear from you.

AbandonedOK Team
Reply to  John
11 years ago

Hey John, Thanks for the Kudos! If you go to our advertising page by Clicking Here, you are more than welcome to use any of the banners if you would like, or you can always just use a text link.

jnehavens
jnehavens
11 years ago

Do you know the plans the owners have for the place? Red Ridge Developement…..sounds like a new subdivision. That would be a shame.

AbandonedOK Team
Reply to  jnehavens
11 years ago

No, not sure what they plan on doing. I would agree it would be a shame. The house is still in great condition considering what it has been through the past several years, and it would be a waste to tear it down. Such great history…

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