Located within Oklahoma State Capitol complex, University of Oklahoma Medical Center and the Presbyterian Health Foundation centers the Oklahoma Department of Commerce agency home is a testament to Oklahoma’s historical past and vibrant future.
Built in the year of Oklahoma’s statehood as a new home for the Cumberland Presbyterian congregation in a yet developed residential neighborhood that began just north of Stiles circle, Maywood Presbyterian church was established. Architect William N. Meredith designed the Victorian Romanesque ecclesiastical building that is rich with elements of Gothic Revival that seated 1,000 in the main auditorium and balcony. The basement contained a gymnasium, restrooms and kitchen. In 1946 the structure was sold to the Irving Baptist Church and subsequently sold in 1956 to the New Zion Baptist Church.
The structure was abandoned in 1980 and it was sold for speculative development. As one of Oklahoma City’s first suburban churches the exterior remnants were declared eligible for the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
In 1987 HTB Architects announced that the structure would be redeveloped into the organizations 39,750 sq. ft. contemporary office complex is nearly six times larger than the original structure. The space raises three stories in a sky lit atrium which is surrounded by rough plaster, untreated brickwork and glassless windows of the original building. Bridges seamlessly span the historical and modern presence. Two complete stained art glass windows are preserved on the north side of the building and listed as a part of the historic designation. The elevator rises through the open span of the original building.
Beginning with a view of relics of the remodel the ride offers a glimpse of the modern structure to the third floor gallery. The gallery hosts a unique ceiling that is designed to make one look up and wonder is located on the third floor was painted by the internationally acclaimed muralist Robert Dafford. Exiting the elevator through the “view of oceans shore as an infinite point to which all the skies and realities on the ceiling can flow.” The mural ranges from the “morning sky to a blue bubble of the day universe to the rosy dawn.”
Since 1996, 900 N Stiles has served as the headquarters for the Department of Commerce. The building is a positive reflection of the state’s historical past and dynamic future.