WPA 3/5, teacherages

I’ve modeled a fairly typical teacherage and a fairly typical country school. I’ve placed them together in one scene, but they weren’t really in the same location.

Many WPA schools have been preserved and documented. The bigger ones are still schools, others have been repurposed. Only a few of the teacherages are documented, and none of those are a ‘matched set’ with an existing school. I suspect the teacherages were privatized in the ’50s when the rural school districts were merged out of existence, so their history departed from the public record. At that time the buildings were only 20 years old, definitely worth using or selling. (Only driven by an old lady schoolteacher!)

The excellent online photos of WPA projects in Okla were taken in 1984 by WD Baird, an OSU history prof. Buildings that were solid then are probably still solid. Buildings that were decaying then are probably gone now.

I chose a school near Bokoshe, in the NE corner of the state. Judging by the documented location and the shape of the building, this modern satellite view might be the right place:

My teacherage was built near Sawyer in the SE corner of the state. It’s a typical bungalow, cement block with stucco. At the time when Baird took the picture it was occupied as a residence.

I’ve imagined the interiors of both, with some help from the window patterns. The school is a bit of a puzzle. Groups of windows imply three classrooms for sure, but the arch on the front and the windowless section on the right are not self-explanatory. I decided to treat the arch as a visitor’s entrance, and the window to the right of the arch as the principal’s office. The windowless part may have been kitchen and restrooms, or just a storage and maintenance area.

I’ve imagined the teacherage as a typical Okla bungalow with arches (of course) and a floor furnace.

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