"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Icon of Oklahoma's years

As 2016 ends, another January, and semester,  is about to begin around an Oklahoma icon, now 124 years old.
Classes began in Old North at Territorial Normal School in January, 1893, in Edmond, Oklahoma Territory. Construction began in summer 1892. The school was founded in December, 1890, and first classes began in November, 1891. 
It's the oldest public institution of higher ed in Oklahoma, and Old North is the oldest building still standing from the Territorial Legislature. In 1971 it was added to  the National Register of Historic Places. Thousands of teachers and other grads are alums. If you tell someone you work there, they either attended, or know someone who did.
The college--now University of Central Oklahoma--has had many names as it has grown and changed, and most people just call it "Central."
The building has been vacant for safety reasons for years, though opening is scheduled soon. It's taken many more years, and dollars to renovate and restore her than the actual construction did. 
I had classes inside as an undergraduate long ago, and the clock tower has been a part of my almost daily view and life for more than a quarter century now. Old North faces west, but I my building is east of her, so I've watched the seasons change with the morning sun on her east face.
My watercolor card was inspired by the winter scene from 100 years ago. Black and white photos from the UCO archives. Others are mine.

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