Restoration of the Page Woodson / Douglass High School
Originally built as the Lowell School in 1910, this date was engraved above the west entrance. It quickly grew and the school was moved in 1933. Shortly after, the African American community added onto the structure and made the building Douglass High Schools’ new home.
After Douglass moved out in the 1950s, a few other schools came through until its last, a fifth-year center, Page Woodson took over the building. Fifth-year centers were experimented with within Oklahoma City and most failed due to dispersion of population and desegregation.
There is a lot of history in this building and to see it abandoned since the early 90’s was a shame. Michael Schwarz, of Prairie Nation Creative, photographed the slow renovation of the 3-year process and worked with the Oklahoma Historical Society, Alumni and Developers to produce a 12-minute Micro-documentary to showcase that renovation is possible even after years of wear, tear, break-ins, leaks, fire, damage and graffiti. Short stories like this can show why these places are important and how our soul, culture and history need to be saved. While most are quick to tear things down because it’s cheaper, we often forget the importance of our heritage.
After completion, the film is now shown in the restored Auditorium before shows and used as a marketing tool for the Apartments.
Video by Prairie Nation Creative, LLC 2021