• Cathy O’Connor

Preserving a future for a Western gem

This month, we kick off the planning process for one of Oklahoma City’s earliest areas of commerce and what is, even today, one of our most unique business districts. Working closely with the Oklahoma City Planning Department and Stockyard City Main Street, we will create a district master plan for Historic Stockyard City to promote economic vitality, preserve local historic character and help guide and shape this area for generations to come.

The Oklahoma National Stockyards Co. began operating as a public livestock market in October 1910. The stockyards and meatpacking plants were Oklahoma City’s first major industrial installations and represented the heaviest concentration of labor in the capital city. A community sprang from this growing industry; retail, restaurants, businesses related to the cattle trade and a post office were opened on and around Exchange Avenue. Homes were built nearby, the Oklahoma City streetcar was extended to the business district and it became known as “Packingtown.”

Much of the original business district remains intact, where you can still find Western flavor preserved in the restaurants, shops and architecture of the area. We need to devote attention and planning now to preserve this history, while providing the businesses and neighborhoods with the support they need to again become a thriving district.

Read more at The Journal Record

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