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FOREST PARK

Located in Oklahoma County, Forest Park is a small, incorporated town within Oklahoma City. Originally this residential community lay just outside the city to the northeast, situated north and south of Northeast Thirty-sixth Street between Bryan (now Bryant) and Covell avenues. In the mid-1920s golf course architect Perry Maxwell had purchased the area, comprising 180 heavily wooded acres around Twin Hills Golf and Country Club, which he was designing and developing. Forest Park had 154 lots available for residential construction. In the 1930s Pioneer Subdivision Company and in the 1940s Twin Hills Development Company sold some of them, and by 1954, sixty-six homes had been built. In the mid-1950s, however, the initial development was completed. Lots were large, and most homes were substantial, many designed by architects for prosperous area entrepreneurs. Parks and bridle paths provided attractive amenities.

By 1956 Forest Park still existed outside Oklahoma City, partially bounded by rural Oklahoma County, but Oklahoma City officials decided to annex the small community in order to acquire its potentially large tax base. This was accomplished by the city council in May. Vigorously protesting against annexation, on July 11, 1956, Forest Park residents voted to incorporate officially as a town. The county commission upheld the incorporation, and lawsuits resulted. In October 1957 a state district court decision overturned the annexation and legalized the incorporation.

After that, Forest Park annexed other areas, including in 1955-56 the new South Forest Park subdivision, south of Northeast Thirtieth and east of Bryant. The 1960 census counted 766 residents in Forest Park. It remained an upscale "bedroom" community with little commercial development. The subsequent censuses reported 835 in 1970, 1,148 in 1980, 1,249 in 1990, and 1,066 in 2000. In 1993 the town completed a new municipal building to house city offices as well as police and fire services. In 2000 the meandering boundaries extended north to Fiftieth Street between Coltrane and Bartell, from Bryant east to Bartell along Thirty-sixth Street, and south of Thirty-sixth between Bryant and Coltrane to Twenty-seventh Street. Those residing within the town's 2.125 square miles worked in adjacent parts of the metropolitan Oklahoma City area and were generally professionals and managers.

SEE ALSO: OKLAHOMA COUNTY, SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: "Forest Park," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Profiles of America, Vol. 2 (2d ed.; Millerton, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, 2003). Madelaine Wilson, "Forest Park Area Has Growing Pains," Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 2 May 1954.

Dianna Everett

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