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Thomas A. Edison School

Thomas A. Edison School

Location Class:
Built: 1950 | Abandoned: ~2000s
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: AbandonedOK Team
Thomas A. Edison School
Mrs. Thelma Lowder, teacher, is at blackboard. Moveable furniture (arrange in semi-circles here) makes for more flexibility in teaching.”

Thomas A. Edison elementary school was completed in 1950 and by December of that year the students and teachers had moved in making themselves at home. It was the typical architecture of that time period, large classrooms, some with sloped ceilings. Narrow hallways that connected classrooms to central areas such as offices, restrooms, the multipurpose auditorium. Some of the teachers of the first decade included Kindergarten – Mrs. Frielander; First grade – Mrs. Honska; Second grade – Mrs. Rueble; Third and Fourth grade – Mrs. Brown; Fifth grade – Mrs. Phillips, Thelma Lowder, and Vernice Sellman who was principal in the latter half.

Some notable events that took place in this building were its use as a polio vaccination center. As well as in 1959 the elementary school was integrated, welcoming around fifteen African American children that year. It would be the ninth school in Oklahoma City to desegregate, the first of schools north of N.E. 23rd Street.

Thomas A. Edison SchoolIt closed as a school in 1974 due to low enrollment and as a part of Oklahoma City’s extensive consolidation plan. It then became the home of the Oklahoma City Campus Police Transportation Dept. Training Program. The building became abandoned in the early 200s and sat for years falling further into a state of decay. On April 16, 2016 the beloved small suburb school was demolished, completely erasing its physical existence. The sign was salvaged from one of the former students and put on display in their backyard, keeping the memories of Thomas A. Edison Elementary alive for years to come.

Article by AOK Photojournalist Emily Cowan.

Gallery Below


Owen, A. Y. [Photograph 2012.201.OVZ001.6921]photographDecember 21, 1950; (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc1699494/accessed May 27, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.


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Emily Cowan

Emily is a two-time published author of "Abandoned Oklahoma: Vanishing History of the Sooner State" and "Abandoned Topeka: Psychiatric Capital of the World". With over two hundred published articles on our websites. Exploring since 2018 every aspect of this has become a passion for her. From educating, fighting to preserve, writing, and learning about history there is nothing she would rather do.

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