Council Oak Elementary (COE) School sits along the western edge of the Maple Ridge Neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a part of the neighborhood, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As Tulsa grew rapidly in the early 1900s, plans for Maple Ridge Neighborhood - the city’s first subdivision - were made. The need for schools was increasing rapidly with the city’s growth; in 1917, Tulsans passed school bonds that built eleven new schools - one of them being the present day COE School. Originally named Lee Elementary, the school opened for classes in January of 1918.
COE School and other schools built at the same time were constructed on the “unit plan” to provide a flexible design that could be adapted to the city’s unpredictable growth. As the population increased, additional units could be built around a central quadrangle used as a playground. This plan is said to have originated in Tulsa.
The school building is a stylistic example of Classical Revival architecture. A four-room apartment located on the roof housed the school’s janitor and his family. Students used a hallway separated from the outside by low railings. Students were exposed to the weather when changing classes until this hallway was enclosed in the 1940s.
© 2011 Tulsa Preservation Commission