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Ponca City Information

Marland Mansion Grounds Tour

John Duncan Forsyth Room

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John Duncan Forsyth Room

Located in the southwest corner, this room is a tribute to the Master Architect of the Marland Estate, John Duncan Forsyth. In 1925, Forsyth learned that E. W. Marland was going to build a mansion that would reflect his status as an oil baron, so he pursued Marland and convinced the oilman to hire him. Thus began a rich architectural legacy left by Forsyth in Ponca City.

Although he designed many buildings during his career, Forsyth was the most proud of his design of the mansion. Marland gave him carte blanche to create the plans for the "Palace on the Prairie." Forsyth felt very fortunate to hire talented artists to hand paint the ceilings, and he loved being afforded the luxury of using decorative wrought iron and original stone carvings.

In addition to the mansion, Forsyth designed the Artist Studio, the gatehouse, the chauffeur's cottage, the stables, and the administrative building on the Marland Estate. Marland also commissioned him to build a group of Southwest adobe buildings in downtown Ponca City and the boardroom at Marland Oil Company. In the mid-1930's, when Marland was governor, Forsyth designed the state office building in Oklahoma City.

A very popular designer throughout northern Oklahoma, he designed many homes and business buildings in Tulsa and Ponca City, and is also known for the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Forsyth's original drawing of the Artist Studio is displayed on an antique drafting table. A collection of Forsyth's photographs of the mansion in 1930 is also featured.