Capitol Hill Booklet



WWII creates a new wave of economic prosperity for Capitol Hill. This era marks the beginning of the “Baby Boomers” and the rise of the suburbs. 1940s

Oil is discovered near SE 59 th and Bryant December 1928

Katz Drug Co. closes the Capitol Hill location. Area leaders begin talks about creating a junior college. South Community Hospital (later INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center) also opens during this time.

The Great Depression and Dustbowl hit Oklahoma especially hard. Many leave Oklahoma for better opportunities out west, but Capitol Hill persists during these tough times.

Photo Credit: Roger Klock


Capitol Hill General Hospital is built on the corner of South Harvey Ave. and SW 23 rd Street (called A Street).



A wave of new additions to the Capitol Hill area include: Southeast High School, Capitol Hill Library, Katz Drug Co., Langston’s Western Wear, and U.S. Grant High School.

Capitol Hill Savings and Loan Association and Little Flower Church, monastery, and school opens.

September 25, 1972


South Oklahoma City Junior College opens.

Capitol Hill High School is established.

Western Wear, and U.S. Grant High School. Suburban growth continues in the south metro, as does the demand for automobiles. These factors lead to major road construction across the area replacing right-of- way trolley lines. These projects eventually lead to the construction of I-240. The 1950s and 60s are marked with tremendous social upheaval across the country. Segregation was the norm and the fight for equality swept across the nation, bolstered by the landmark case Brown v. the Topeka, Kansas Board of Education. The case found school segregation to be unconstitutional.

lunch counter located in downtown OKC. In the days following, Katz changed their store segregation policy nationwide. This event is considered a catalyst for civil rights demonstrations around the country. Similar sit-ins would continue in Oklahoma City for four more years before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. With downtown residents leaving for the suburbs and an overall decline in the city’s downtown area, the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority commissions the Pei Plan to revitalize 528 acres of downtown Oklahoma City. Through the 1970s and 1980s, this plan does little to improve the city’s revitalization, causing a reverse effect and the transition of commerce, workers, and residents to the area’s suburbs and beyond.

In 1968, the idea for a junior college in the south OKC metro is pushed forth by civic and political leaders. On March 20, 1969, a committee of the Greater Capitol Hill Chamber (later named the South Oklahoma City

Capitol Hill struggled during the 1970s and 80s. The area’s once thriving business district took a substantial hit with the opening of Crossroads Mall in 1974. J.C. Penney and John A. Brown decide to move their Commerce Street stores to the mall. In 1987, Langston’s Western Wear in Capitol Hill closes their doors as well. Another economic hit comes with the 1980s national oil downturn. Coupled with an agricultural price decline, Oklahoma City begins to see major financial institutions collapse and a substantial increase in real estate foreclosures and bankruptcies, beginning a recession that would last much of the early part of the decade.

Chamber of Commerce) was organized to circulate petitions asking the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to establish a junior college in south OKC.

Shortly thereafter, the district was formed and a board of trustees was appointed. On September 25, 1972, South Oklahoma City Junior College opened for classes.

In 1958, Oklahoma City civil rights activist Clara Luper led 13 children in a sit-in at the Katz Drug Co.



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