Known primarily as the location of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, the historic community of McAlester is today a fascinating community. In many parts of Oklahoma the custom was to create larger footprints and occasionally rise several stories above the broad streets of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and other communities.
In McAlester there is at work different approaches to the classic downtown. The emphasis appeared to be on smaller footprints but taller and more imposing structures. The result is a city-scape that seems to lurk and sometimes loom over the steep and hilly downtown. In places, they create dark canyons suggesting plans to recreate a Chicago or a New York amid the tree covered and mine rich terrain of the community.
|Grand Avenue UMC|
The Grand Avenue United Methodist Church, 1922- is one example of the spirit and structure of the city. The Pittsburgh County Courthouse. The Aldridge Hotel, 1929, has been recently renovated and serves as living space for seniors.
The Scottish Rite Temple (a one time hospital). One has to stop and be in awe of the drive to create such massive, towering structures in the tree covered hills of southeastern Oklahoma. Luckily this structure is located near the public library and allows one to do so in safety. Exploring the community and this down town area questions tug at the mind about the early city planners. What motivated them? Whose visions were expressed in stone and mortar?