House Building in Bristow added to National Register of Historic Places

The House Building, also known as the Root’s Furniture Building, in downtown Bristow, Oklahoma, last week was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The listing was effective Sept. 9, according to a weekly email of National Register listings from the National Park Service.

The building at 301-305 N. Main St. (aka Route 66) in Bristow’s main drag currently is vacant, according to the nominating petition.

The two-story Tudor Revival structure was built shortly after U.S. 66 was federally designated in late 1926. It’s notable for an arched stone entranceway in the center with the word “House” engraved above it.

It had been a department story from its construction until the 1970s. More from the petition:

The building was constructed in 1927-28 by W.E. Krumrei for R.M &
Elizabeth House, Viola House, and Rachel Ball née House. The building was immediately occupied by two national department store retailers, Montgomery Ward and J.C. Penney. The period of significance continues until 1941 when the W.E. Krumrei, who was also the original builder, transferred ownership to M.J. McSoud & E. E. Horany. Although these new owners continued to lease to J.C. Penney, they began a pattern of leasing to other types of tenants that were not office or department store related. […]
After 1941, the new owners M.J. McSoud and E.E. Horany leased spaces to tenants such as the Elks Lodge in 1944 and the Bristow Youth Center in 1950 which were not typical of the department store use or office types of tenants.

About two years ago, an African American-owned and Christian-based business based in Las Vegas announced plans to move into the building and foster the careers of other entrepreneurs and creatives. It launched a Kickstarter campaign that fell far short of its $275,000 goal, and little else was heard about the venture.

(Excerpted image of the House Building in Bristow, Oklahoma, via Google Street View)

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