Welcome to Ponca City, a city that is unique.
We are a community of approximately 26,000 people established in
north central Oklahoma during the famous Oklahoma land run called
the Cherokee Strip. The town has an unusual history. We have been
home to wealthy philanthropic oilmen and the birthplace of a
successful oil company, the first in the U.S. to offer employee
The community is synonymous with agriculture, oil, and water
resources. Ponca City continues to grow, offering a life style,
which reflects our rich history. It is our pleasure to welcome you
to our beautiful City Hall, and we hope you enjoy yourself.
Before you start your indoor tour, take a look around our plaza...
City Hall serves as the backdrop for Ponca City's Centennial Plaza.
In keeping with the spirit of the Cherokee Strip Land Run, citizens
purchased 6,527 personalized bricks to stake their claim in the new
Centennial Plaza and make their families a permanent part of Ponca
Ponca City Memorial Fountain
The Ponca City Memorial Fountain, a beloved community focal point,
was constructed by the Ponca City Chapter of the Daughters of the
American Revolution in memory of the men and women who served during
World War I. H.A. "Jack Mertz and the DAR restored it in 1981; the
Ponca City and Pioneer Rotary Clubs funded another renovation in
Today this historic fountain makes use of advanced LED technology
and intelligent control to generate light shows that synchronize
with the water sprays to produce choreographed, color-changing
effects. This latest restoration was a work by love by Forrest Mertz
of Mertz, Inc. and the Mertz family in memory of his parents, H.A.
"Jack" and Hattie Mertz, the Ponca City Chapter of the Daughters of
the American Revolution and all veterans in 2003.
Art on the Plaza
Centennial Plaza is the home of 3 of Ponca City's favorite
The statue of Lew Wentz on the southeast comer honors Louis Haines
Wentz, one of Ponca City's most generous benefactors. Sculpted by Jo
Saylors, the sculpture was a gift from a group of citizens who
wanted to honor the memory of Mr. Wentz.
E.W. Marland's statue, on the southwest comer, originally sat on the
grounds of the Marland estate. Mr. Marland loved art, particularly
sculpture, and commissioned this work from Jo Davidson. His widow,
Lydie Marland, donated the statue to Ponca City in 1941.
Centennial Monument anchors the plaza and commemorates the historic
land run into Oklahoma Territory on September 16, 1893. Jo Saylors
created this masterpiece, which was a gift to Ponca City through
donations from citizens.
Before you start your indoor City Hall
tour, take a look up at the west tower...
Tower Clock and Singing Tower Carillon
The original architectural plans for the tower included a clock;
however, lack of funds prevented the plans from becoming a reality.
The clock and carillon were installed in 1998 with funds donated in
the name of Larry T. Hughes, a beloved and respected community
leader. The carillon music, romantic, nostalgic and comforting to
hear every day all over downtown, is a fitting memorial to a man
born on West Grand Avenue who was devoted to his home town, loved
the pride people took in it and believed in giving to his community.
When the music plays, citizens remember Larry Hughes.
CITY HALL FACILITY - A LITTLE HISTORY
The original building was a Civic Auditorium, designed by Layton and
Smith, the same architects of the Oklahoma State Capital. Built in
the Spanish Colonial style in 1917, City Hall sets the architectural
tone for the rest of the city.
Following the completion of the building, the citizens voted
approval for a bond to pay for the east and west wings to connect to
the Civic Auditorium. Layton, Smith and Forsythe were the architects
for these wings, and the project was completed in 1924. The finished
wings, plus the auditorium, housed the Civic Center Complex with the
civic auditorium in the center building and fire, police and city
administration in the wing buildings. The auditorium was the center
of community theater activities with many famous performers of the
day gracing its stage.
In 1992, the Ponca City Fire Marshall declared the Civic Auditorium
a fire hazard, and the facility was closed. City departments
continued to operate in the east wing, and Fire Station No. 1 was
housed in the west wing.
Voters approved a 2-year sales tax to renovate Fire Station No. 1 in
1997. Once completed, voters approved a 3-year sales tax to renovate
the remainder of the Complex. The new City Hall complex was
completed in 2003 and was designed by Richard Winterrowd and Troy
Lewis of Lewis Associates Architects of Ponca City.
The first floor contains all of the most commonly used functions of
city government. This allows great access for the citizens of Ponca
City to pay their bills, visit the city clerk, apply for a job or
work with community development services.
Everything in the building is new except for the brick structural
walls, the roof structure and the original vault door. The interior
of the building was designed to match the historic exterior. Many
materials, colors and arched openings were designed as a complement
to the Spanish Mission Style from the 1920's.
The entry vestibule is a new addition to the building and is the
dramatic front door to city government. The design was based on the
awning that was originally designed for the building but was never
installed. The copper barrel vaults blend perfectly with the facade
of the building in scale, proportion and materials. Copper was
selected as the cladding material because of its timeless quality
and its natural finish. Copper is easily molded to the curved shapes
of the entry and can be allowed to gracefully age to a natural
patina. The copper on the interior was protected to maintain the new
shiny copper penny look as a contrast to the natural patina of the
exterior. In addition, the pebbled copper ceiling is contrasted with
the smooth copper battens and is highlighted by indirect cove
The lobby area was enlarged from the original ticket lobby into a
grand civic gathering space. The original brick was intentionally
exposed to contrast with the new highly finished materials of
wrought iron, cast stone, copper coves, terrazzo floors, granite
countertops, glass blocks and painted gypsum board walls. New
openings were created in the existing brick walls to visually expand
the space to two stories and connect with the upper and lower
promenades. The stone wainscoting serves two functions. It provides
human scale to the tall brick walls while also covering the portion
of the wall that used to be below the old floor line. The awning
over the reception counter is a replica of the awning that was
originally designed for the front entry.
The two grand staircases were added on either side. The wrought iron
railings tie visually with the cast iron structural columns. The
floral panels in the stair railing match the floral pattern of the
pressed metal wall panels located high above the stairs. The pressed
metal wall panels, light coves, and crown moulds reflect materials
common to many downtown retail buildings of the era and were a
perfect fit for the new building.
The color schemes of various shades of gold and cream on the walls
and ceilings tie the building to the past history of bold civic
architectural spaces. The lighting throughout the building is
coordinated in style and function and sets a dramatic ambience for
An information desk is located at the main entrance to provide
assistance to citizens and visitors. The City Clerk's office is on
the east side of the lobby, and the Utility Billing/Accounting
window is on the west side. Customer Service is located beyond the
Utility Billing window on the west side. There are public restrooms
and an elevator to enhance accessibility for public use of the
building and Centennial Plaza
DISPLAY CASES-EAST SIDE
Display cases on the east side of the lobby contain the City's
honors and awards.
1st FLOOR-EAST WING
The city departments most used by the public. Community Development
(Planning and Code Enforcement) and City Engineers are conveniently
located in this area.
2nd FLOOR-EAST SIDE DISPLAY
The City of Ponca City has a sister city in Baiyin City, Gansu
Province, People's Republic of China. The agreements and gifts
because of that relationship are housed in this display cabinet.
2nd FLOOR-EAST WING
Environmental Services, Information Services and Ponca City Main
Street offices are located in this wing.
2nd FLOOR-GRAND PIANO
The grand piano is an 1885 Steinway. It is a gift to the City of
Ponca City from the heirs of the late Sam and Dorothy Leonard, who
were long-time residents of Ponca City.
2nd FLOOR-COMMISSION CHAMBER
The design of the Commission Chamber pays homage to the history of
the auditorium. The proscenium arch was recreated on the face of the
original fly-loft, complete with velvet waterfall curtains as a
backdrop for the commission dais. The grand volume of the original
space was maintained. The dramatic coffer ceiling is in the same
location as the original ceiling. The interior walls are stair
stepped up to a service level to reveal the original window walls
above. The commission dais is clad in the same cast stone found in
the lobby. The walls are covered with sound dampening silk fabric
panels, and the ceiling has a sound absorption plaster finish.
Dramatic lighting sets the mood for this multifunctional room.
The room is designed as a full production television studio for
broadcasts of commission meetings on public television and boasts
state of the art audio/visual capabilities. It seats 154 people.
Located directly behind the commission chamber in what was the
stage/ fly-loft area are public meeting rooms and support areas. New
window openings in the rear wall of the fly-loft area provide
daylight and views for the meeting rooms and offices.
2nd FLOOR-WEST HALLWAY
The hallway leading to the community meeting rooms is homage to the
Ponca Playhouse productions staged in what is now the Commission
Chamber from 1959 to 1994. The actors were community residents.
2nd FLOOR-BARNES ROOM
This is one of 2 community meeting rooms available to the public
free-of-charge. Named after the founder and first mayor of Ponca
City, the room holds photographs of Grand Avenue in the early days.
It seats up to 16 people.
2nd FLOOR-McFADDEN ROOM
The larger of the 2 community meeting rooms is named for Mayor W.H.
McFadden, who called for the first bond election to construct this
building in 1916. Photographs in this room provide a visual history
of the building facade. It seats up to 24 people.
As you return down the West Hallway, turn left at the opening. On
the South wall is a remnant of the Ponca Playhouse drape donated by
the Playhouse. The east wall of the hallway honors the many citizens
who have served as Ponca City's mayors and city commissioners.
2nd FLOOR-WEST WING
The West Wing holds the City Administration offices, including the
Mayor, City Manager and City Attorney.
2nd FLOOR-WEST DISPLAY
As you head toward the staircase to return to the 1st floor lobby,
notice the souvenirs of the building's theatre background in this
1st FLOOR-WEST LOBBY DISPLAY
Ponca City will surprise and delight you with the variety of events
and activities. You can get a tantalizing glimpse of each one by
checking out this display.